It is the film festivals that allow a wide range of films from different nations, made in different languages and dealing with different subjects to come on the same platform and express themselves in the same platform before a wide range of audience. Film festivals embody the value of a universal language where linguistic differences are transcended and the ‘human’ language is prioritized – since emotions is a language in itself, feeling, expressions, human values, human strengths and weaknesses don’t need a language (Denzin, 2007).
The gamut of emotions, expressions and ideas presented in a film festival is hardly visible in other modes of cinema. Its only in a film festival where one can feel the trials and tribulations in the journey from teenage to adulthood of a boy and his sister, capturing the coming-of-age of its protagonist in the ‘Boyhood’ directed by Richard Linklater. It perhaps the film festivals that encourages directors and film-makers to explore the deepest subjects like Abdellatif Kechiche who explores the crests and troughs in the life of a young woman who understands to discover her desires, identify the woman in her, losing herself and finding herself again in ‘Blue Is the Warmest Colour’. Or perhaps it’s the unique ability of a film festival that can aptly capture the subtle needs of life in the tale of a lovelorn housewife who seeks emotional solace in an elderly stranger with whom she communicates through letters placed in lunchboxes in the busy suburbs of Mumbai.
Perhaps it’s the strength of the film festivals that encourages film-makers to fearlessly speak about their subjects, their thoughts and view without having to think about the earnings in theatres which has allowed film-makers to explore subjects like the troubles, pain and stigma attached to children born to prostitutes captured in ‘Born in Brothels’. It’s the film festivals that have helped film-makers speak about the multiple layers of social discrimination, exhibited in the heart-touching tale of Belle, an illegitimate mixed race daughter whose social standing comes in the way of a happy and prosperous life (Banks, 1998).