From Gujarati Cinema to India and Indian history to mythology – Day-III of Karnavati Literature and Film Festival 2023 witnesses engaging discussions

Noted author Christopher C Doyle, who was present at KLFF addressed a session on ‘Indian Mythology – Bringing youth back to fold’


Ahmedabad : The Karnavati Literature and Film Festival (KLFF) 2023 indeed became a platform for exchange of ideas on a range of subjects about the film and literary world and the society at large. The third day of KLFF 2023 organised by Karnavati University witnessed a range of discussions on subjects on Gujarati Cinema, Indian History, Hindutva Narratives, Indian mythology and more. Karnavati University is a state private university dedicated to excellence in teaching and is focussed on interdisciplinary learning.

Noted author Christopher C Doyle, who was present at KLFF addressed a session on ‘Indian Mythology – Bringing youth back to fold’. During the session, Doyle drew a beautiful contrast of stories and incidents that took place around the globe and related them with the Mahabharata. During his address, he enlightened the students about the facts and mysteries of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, Stone Age, among others.

Speaking on the theme of ‘India that is Bharat’, Mr J Sai Deepak, Supreme Court Advocate and renowned author and Mr Satyendra Shrivastava, co-founding partner, Consortial Legal, discussed how Hindus are a global minority.

“Hindus are a minority globally, facing an existential crisis. It is therefore important they awaken and address the issue. We must, after all, learn to invest in policy. There is a visible political change in Bharat with 2014 representing a clear shift. This also indicates the importance of competitive political alternatives,” he said. He also spoke about the distortion of history in the education system.

During a session titled ‘Kalam Sey’, writer and director, Ms Ruchi Joshi, noted screenplay writer, Ms Urmi Juvekar and writer, Ms Nehal Bakshi, talked about the creative process of writing.  Ms Ruchi Joshi spoke about the process of writing different characters. “A character really drives a story.  One does need to visualise a lot but needs to be brave and come up with varied possibilities to make it interesting,” she said.  Ms Juvekar on the other hand spoke about the challenges of screenwriting. She said, “Screen writers need a different kind of training than a literary writer does.”

Ms Rajani Thindiath, former editor, Tinkle Comics and Ms Svani Parekh, scriptwriter – Netflix, shared interesting insights about the animation industry during their discussion titled, ‘Toon it Up’. Speaking about the widespread adoption of Artificial Intelligence and the recent addition of Chat GPT, Ms Thindiath said, “AI has been present for a long time here. Lately it has begun seeping into animation and writing. But there is no substitute for human emotion and imagination. How much we as consumers will take it till it begins hitting us back is the question that needs to be asked.”

Sharing their journey as lyricists, Ms Abhiruchi Chand, and Mr Bhargav Purohit, talked about how the age of social media shouldn’t impact songs and lyric.

“You are your own judge first. Your intention should be very clear why you want to be a lyricist. Many times, we tend to get the composition first and we’re made to write the lyrics later. That often becomes a challenge. Many times, the best lines are omitted too,” said Ms Chand.

KLFF 2023 also saw some sharp exchange of thoughts about Gujarati Cinema and its evolution. Publicist,Mr Chetan Chauhan along with screenplay and dialogue writer, Mr Keyu Shah; actor and producer, Ms Aarti Patel; producer, editor and co-writer of ‘Hellaro’, Mr Prateek Gupta; Mr Manish Saini; film director, Mr Mikhil Musale, and film producer, Mr Vaishal Shah were part of the discussion. “Soon after a Gujarati film hit the Oscars, the film industry is scaling new heights. Since Covid-19, a number of Gujarati language films have made the big bucks,” said Vaishal.

Senior news anchor at Network-18 TV, Mr Anand Narasimhan spoke about Hindutva and other narratives, where he explained how Hindutva is a way of life and not a religion in itself.

Mr Brajesh Kumar Singh, group editor – Convergence, Network-18 Group, addressed a session on ‘Distortion of History in Cinema’ along with film director, Mr Srinivas Patro and author, Mr Arun Krishnan. Explaining the importance of perspectives, he said, “It is essential to understand history from the right perspective. An incorrect portrayal of history is extremely dangerous. Movies impact a larger audience and many a time, there is a motive to distort history to influence the mindset of people.”

Mr Srinivas Patro, who also participated in the discussion said, “Many OTT platforms deliberately exclude films and documentaries that do not support the Hindu perspective of history and in a certain sense are anti-hindu too.”

An interesting discussion on music and sounds took place at ‘Soundilicous’ a session addressed by popular singer, Ms Shruti Pathak, musician and singer, Mr Arvind Vegda and Singer and songwriter, Ms Mirande Shah.

Design strategist Kabya Shree Borgohain, along with Indian filmmaker, Rima Das, presented some interesting views during their session, ‘The Village Rockstars’. Meanwhile, leading film publicist, Ms Parull Gossain along with principal digital content producer – Times Internet Limited, Mr Sanjay Mishra; assistant director – entertainment, Pinkvilla, Mr Avinash Lohana; and founder of ContentKosh, Ms Deepali Chattwani, spoke about the new age papparazi. ‘Filmi Keeda’ was yet another interesting session by renowned Indian screenwriter, Mr Amit V. Masurkar and writer, Ms Aastha Tiku. Poet and curator, Mr Madhu Raghavendra also spoke about ‘Metamorphosis of Poetry’.

KLFF 2023 is a celebratory initiative that seeks to light the sparks of literature, film, theatre, folk, art and culture into a grandeur of fireworks through incredible creative encounters. The festival will witness engaging speaker sessions, interactive panel discussions, workshops, and a host of performances.

Shri Ritesh Hada, president, Karnavati University, said, “At Karnavati University, it is our constant endeavour to create platforms for meaningful discourses and dialogues over a range of subjects. As we embrace and engage with the constantly changing world in an age of social media and information overload, where attention spans are shrinking by the day, KLFF is an attempt to bring back the views and thoughts from storytellers, the writers and the original ‘content creators’ who have been relentlessly engaged in creative pursuits to seek and tell stories from a slice of everyday life, the world around us and even alternate realities.”