Festival of Globe recognizes need for communities to work together: Dr. Romesh Japra
Silicon Valley is gearing up for a taste of Indian and Gobal cinema. The Festival of Globe, currently in its fourth year, is a film festival that champions several causes; while it showcases beautiful films from various countries, it also advocates social messages and gives talented filmmakers a platform to exhibit their stories in front of Silicon Valley investors.
The festival that will take place from August 5 to 13 was founded by local community leader and renowned cardiologist Dr. Romesh Japra who is a self-confessed cinema lover. We connected with Dr. Japra to know more about the festival, which will focus on Patriotism and Indian Pride in 2017.
What led a noted cardiologist to go the film way and introduce an Indian film festival in Silicon Valley? Are you an avid cinema lover yourself?
I take pride in being a Cultural and Social Entrepreneur. I have been empowering the Indian American Community for the last 25 years by hosting the Festival of India and Parade every year. Now, we are engaging other Ethnic Communities and going from Local to Global. Besides Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Folk Arts, I jumped into Film Arts and Entertainment as well to integrate diverse communities of the globe. Silicon Valley is the place where ideas transform into realities. Absolutely yes, I am a major cinema lover!
We look out for films that deserve a strong audience and which perhaps for various market reasons may not get huge mileage within India
How would you describe the Festival of Globe? What is the kind of cinema showcased at the festival?
Each year the selection is different. In the first year, we had a handful of lovely films, one being from Hollywood and one Kashmiri film called Identity Card. Our glory spread to Nepal and year two saw several Nepali films. Last year, the Bengali participation was so huge that we created an extension called FOG Bengal, and Prosenjit Chatterjee and Raima Sen came forward to support it. This year, being India’s 70th year of Independence, we are pushing patriotic films.
Additionally, FOG creates various platforms and activities to champion various social causes such as women’s issues, child advocacy and preventing child abuse, youth development, elderly & senior support, ending hunger and homelessness, free health care, supporting the physically challenged, disaster support and relief efforts and promoting individual freedom. The effort of the Festival of Globe – Silicon Valley has been to recognize the need for communities to work together for a larger good. Through film, culture, dance and art we plan to be the largest festival that aims to engage global participation.
Another goal is to introduce the global talent pool of fine movie makers to Silicon Valley investors.
In its fourth year, what new can the audience expect from FOG? Are there any new categories or segments?
As mentioned above, we are promoting patriotism through cinema, this being a landmark year for India. Our highlight would be the Entertainment Summit at Facebook. Additionally, Fiji is participating with a delegation and a few films from other countries too. We do not categorize films with Best this or Best that. We select a handful of films and honor all of them for an individual trait or quality that deserves recognition. For example, it could be national pride or anti-corruption or inspirational, anything. We create culture and courage, not competition.
How many entries have you’ll received? Who is the esteemed jury for this year?
We have received over 100 entries from around the world but have selected only 5-6 films. And we don’t have a defined jury. We select a film on an application or referral basis, and if accepted, it automatically will walk away with an award for the reason that it was selected. Our core committee decides all this.
Through film, culture, dance and art we plan to be the largest festival that aims to engage global participation
What is that you’ll look for in the films that are shortlisted for the festival?
Mainly, the message. Secondly, does it appeal to the theme of the particular year, like Patriotism or Indian Pride is centric to 2017.
This year, there’s a special focus on Patriotic films. The 3 films chosen – Buddha in a Traffic Jam, Yeh Hai India and Taabeer – present a very unique take on patriotism. Is that the reason you’ll chose them instead of something more conventional?
Absolutely! Besides the theme of patriotism for 2017, we’ll generally look out for films that deserve a strong audience and which perhaps for various market reasons may not get huge mileage within India.
We select a handful of films and honor all of them for an individual trait or quality that deserves recognition
Apart from film screenings, which other sessions are you excited about for this year?
Our India Day Parade is in its 25th year, that is always a highlight. Surely a sweet awards night with music and fashion shows is a delight. But, the exciting event is the Entertainment Summit at the world headquarters of Facebook where we really hope to bring the film industry, high net worth individuals, investors, IT people and audiences together as a major networking event with esteemed panelists and a moderator.