Many techies are taking a week-long break from work to catch the Bengaluru International Film Festival. An even bigger number is thronging Orion mall, the festival venue, after work hours.
For software professionals, the festival provides a welcome break from their routine. Ajay R, an engineer with Spirent, has been attending Biffes for the last three years. "I prefer international films because they give me insights into other cultures," he says. This time, his favourite films so far are: 'The Beauty and the Dogs' and 'Four Hands'. He has taken leave so that he can completely immerse himself in film watching. His wife Supriya, a software professional with Subex, has always been a film buff. "I don't miss any opportunity to watch a film. My husband and I never leave without watching at least four or five films a day at the festival," she says.
It is the mix of films that brings Yashaswini M, a systems engineer, to Biffes. She had taken leave on Tuesday to watch films based on novels. She caught 'Shuddhi', 'The Square' and 'Muramba', a Marathi film. "It is not always that you see novels being made into films. It is nice to see how they are developed into films," says Yashaswini. Nagarjuna V Hebbar, another techie, enjoys the interactions with filmmakers. "You don't get to be a part of such events every day. These are truly rare occasions and I want to watch as many films as I can," he says.
Teams of movie lovers have arrived from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. People have also come in from Karnataka cities such as Mysuru, Hassan and Dharwad. Six students from AAT Media College in Chennai booked their passes well advance. They go wherever festivals are held. "We didn't find the mix of films here as good as in Mumbai and Goa," says Akshay. His classmate Josin observes, "We get new ideas by watching international films. Festivals are both educative and entertaining."
The food counters have a specially curated menu for the festival. They have also slashed prices in a big way. "They are down by almost half. We have added 'vada pav' and 'pakodas' to our regular fare and they sell fast," says Shivakumar, manager at PVR. A pizza which usually costs between Rs 180 and Rs 200 is now priced at Rs 90. You get a burger for Rs 60, down from Rs 160, he says. Popcorn is cheaper, too. Earlier, it was Rs 280 a pack. Now you get packs at Rs 35 and Rs 65. The prices of coffee and fruit juices have also been slashed."
Priced at Rs 300, daily passes sold well. About 160 to 200 film buffs bought them every day. For Thursday, the passes are priced at Rs 100.