There are hundreds of film festivals held each year in our country. But what makes The Kolkata People’s Film Festival (KPFF) so unique? Simply put, it is the only Indian film festival created by soley the people and for the people, as the entire festival is organized through crowd-funding. KPFF has been happeed every year since 2014 in the month of January and showcases politically conscious contemporary documentaries and fiction cinema from primarily India and South Asian countries. It brings together a broad intersection of audiences and filmmakers to interact and form friendships and active camaraderie over films and conversations.
Independent cinema is still alive because people viewing and propagating it are also actively participating in keeping it relevant and accessible. That is the story of the People's Film Collective (PFC), a West Bengal-based independent, autonomous, people-funded cultural collective, and their grandest event is the Kolkata People’s Film Festival. PFC’s motto “People’s cinema with people’s support” has so far been visible through their work. At KPFF a person can learn a lot about films. Their focus lies in viewing films as alternate media for people. The screenings are also typically followed by a rich discussion session between the audience and the filmmakers, including many international stalwarts of the film industry.
This year KPFF returns with its 9th edition and will screen 39 films featuring a wide range of compelling stories from India and the subcontinent as a whole. The focus of the films will be raising political awareness about several contemporary issues such as a fascist state's subjugation of lingual and religious minorities, censorship around art and culture, unfair incarceration of human rights activists, and many more such burning issues of our times. There will be 9 films telling stories from the regions of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the South Asian diaspora in British Columbia. The films will weave a tapestry of narratives around migrant workers’ lives, and their struggle for dignity and survival and bind those stories together with those from India.
The KPFF will be on for three days from the 20th to the 23rd of January, 2023. The venue is Uttam Mancha, Hazra, and will be open from 10:00 AM-9 PM on each of the days. PFC has returned with renewed gusto and enthusiasm and is striving to create a space that resonates with the pre-pandemic days and celebrates counter-culture, resistance, and togetherness.