"We need art theatres to find outlet for good films … I am particularly happy that a film society is doing it" - Satyajit Ray on the Suchitra Film Society.
These were the words of the greatest filmmaker in India, Satyajit Ray while inaugurating the Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy on 8th January 1980. In the last 36 years, since its inception, Suchitra has continued to expose the audience to fine cinema and engage them in critical appreciation of it.
Suhitra was conceptualised by a group of young engineers with a common fervour for good cinema. It was in 1971 that Suchitra embarked its journey as a platform where a collection of selected movies from around the world would be screened in one of the theatres in Bangalore.
In 1977, the group organised a film festival ‘Nostalgia', screening 70 films in 8 different languages in 8 different theatres. Several popular film stars including Nargis, Mrinal Sen and Devika Rani and others from the Hindi Industry were roped in to the attend the event. Along with these stars were 30 popular figures from Kannada Industry were invited. The turnover for the festival was around 2 lakhs and Suchitra turned into reality.
In the year 1980, the members felt that there was a need for a proper premises for Suchitra and the foundation of Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy was laid by Satyajit Ray at BV Karanth Road, Banashankari. Since then, Suchitra has created a reputation as an important centre of cinema appreciation, arts, media and culture and as a cine academy and cultural centre with an international school of moving image media, a professional theatre and a centre of interpretation of cinema, performing arts, language, literature and media.
Today, the society has a good number of members and different divisions that further the aim of promoting good cinema. The Suchitra Library has good reference materials on cinema from India and the world over. The academy also has Suchitra Bal Jagath, the division which conducts programmes for children like painting classes and quiz competitions.
Suchitra also hosts special screening of movies for children during the summer camps. Over the years, as Suchitra has developed into cultural hub, Suchitra Kala Kendra takes initiatives in holding many cultural activities such as dance classes, lectures on selected topics and Harikathe. The academy also promotes Kannada literature through various events.
Suchitra Academy has about four branches that deal with study of culture and learning arts too:
Suchitra Kala Kendra for literature, music, dance and language studies
Suchitra Baljagat for children
Suchitra Madhyama Kendra for discussions and events related to media
Suchitra Centre for Film and Drama, a Post Graduate school
Suchitra has been focused on involving the industry with some great quality art and culture. While expanding their current plans and developing them into more meaningful activity is their main goal, they are also making legendary art and award winning movies and entertainment for everyone involved.
The Film Society, which is also a part of Suchitra Academy organises best film screening in town. They manage to pick some of the un-screened international films that have never been screened. Followed by these movie screenings are interesting discussions discussions that help with the learning for the development of the quality of films here. What started as a film promoting medium in 1972, has now become a standard society that takes initiative for the development of quality in film-making. The Society’s initiative, ‘Nostalgia’, brought on to the scene some of the great film artists who helped with bringing to light the great efforts that the Film Society has been taking in improving and pushing up front the quality of film-making in the country. Some of Film Society's famous members are Girish Kasaravalli, B Suresh, HM Ramchandra and Jayamala.
Center for Film and Drama
The Center for Film and Drama, which is also another initiative by the Suchitra Academy, was started in the year 2010. This international school in Bangalore became of the important schools that invested into creating some and giving to the industry, some of the best and talented artists who were well trained with performing arts. Offering Post Graduate programmes in Film-making and other short term courses, the school quickly grabbed the attention of international art schools. They are currently collaborated with the School of Film Directing at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
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