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After Pedro, Rishab Shetty-produced festival darling Shivamma shunned by BIFFes

Jaishankar Aryar's film, Shivamma, was censored in 2023, but has still not made the cut for BIFFes

After Pedro, Rishab Shetty-produced festival darling Shivamma shunned by BIFFes

Jaishankar Aryar and, (right) a still from Shivamma

Last Updated: 02.33 PM, Feb 21, 2024


The 15th edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival is only days away and as the list of Kannada films in the competition sections emerged, one notable omission was director Jaishankar Aryar’s Shivamma, which has been produced by Rishab Shetty. The film, which began its international film festival run in 2022, has not made it, making it the second Rishab Shetty Films production to not get a screening in Bengaluru.

Shivamma has been excluded from selection at BIFFes, as the organizers claimed that it was a 2022 film and had international screenings back then, including at the Busan International Film Festival, even though it was censored for screening in India only in 2023. Technically, as per the rules, this would make Shivamma eligible for BIFFes, but it’s not made the cut.

Last year, it was the Natesh Hegde directorial Pedro that failed to get selected to BIFFes, despite being a film festival darling across the world. At the time, it was alleged that Pedro’s exclusion was politically-driven, as the subject of the film involved the inadvertent killing of a cow and the fallout thereof. Rishab had stated that Pedro’s rejection at BIFFes was deliberate and that he was looking at bringing the film to audiences through other channels.


Rishab is yet to find a mainstream OTT partner to pick up both of the films he’s produced. The actor-filmmaker had earlier said that the reluctance of streaming platforms to take Kannada content, especially, festival darlings that may not attract crowds in theatres, would, in the long run mean that people like him will not come forward to support such movies.

BIFFes 2024 is set to begin on February 29 and go on till March 7. There are 12 films in the Kannada competition section, namely, All India Radio, Chow Chow Bath, Dooradarshana, Garuda Purana, Kandeelu, Kshetrapathi, Lineman, Naanu Ivala Abhimani, Nirvana, Ravike Prasanga, Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye and Tatsama Tadbhava. Meanwhile, two other Kannada films, Abracadabra and Mithya, both produced by Rakshit Shetty’s Paramvah Studios have made it to the Indian and Asian competition sections, respectively.

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