The song and dance routine that our actors break into in films is finally getting its due at the 8th Pune International Film Festival (Piff). The creative use of sound and music in cinema is the theme of this year’s Piff, which has been declared as Maharashtra’s official film festival.
For the past couple of years, Jabbar Patel, the director of the week-long festival that started 7 January, had been toying with the idea of having Piff focus on sound and music. The National Award-winning director says that internationally, Indian cinema is synonymous with song and dance, which critics consider to be an illogical part of our otherwise imaginative cinema.
Piff 2010 is introspecting on our need to communicate through sound and music. There is a simple yet powerful exhibition of posters organized by the National Film Archive of India. Tracing the landmarks in the history of sound in Indian cinema, 150 scanned images of the posters, both handpainted and digital, come with information on why a particular film was important for the evolution of sound. The exhibition was inaugurated on 8 January by sound designer Resul Pookutty, who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.
Pookutty talked about how Indian cinema moved from live recording to dubbing and is again going back to live recording, with young directors realizing that the technique adds to a film’s realism.
In keeping with the theme, a Sachin Dev Burman International Award for Creative Sound and Music was introduced this year—it has gone to Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma of Laxmikant-Pyarelal fame. Patel says Piff will discuss the future of sound technology. During the festival, film-maker Subhash Ghai spoke about the imaginative use of music in taking the story forward, while composer Shantanu Moitra brought in the current generation’s perspective. Film and Television Institute of India director Pankaj Rag’s talk on the socio-political significance of lyrics is scheduled for Tuesday. Rag is the author of Dhun Ki Yatra, a book which analyses the work of 120 composers.
Piff is also screening documentaries on the lives of India’s biggest musicians. Mohammed Rafi: We Remember You, a documentary on Mohammed Rafi by Kuldeep Sinha, ran to a packed house. A documentary on Kishore Kumar is next in line.
The film poster exhibition is on till 14 January at the Pune Municipal Corporation Art Gallery on Ghole Road, Pune. Films that are part of Piff are being shown at NFAI, Fame, Inox, E-Square and City Pride theatres in Pune till 14 January.