Odisha: BhuFeSto-2023 to begin on January 14

Bhubaneswar: Bhubaneswar Festival of Storytelling, BhuFeSto, the biggest international storytelling festival in India is back. The festival will be held from January 14 to 17 next year on the sidelines of the Men’s Hockey World Cup-2023 in Odisha.

The festival is once again being curated by Bakul Foundation as a part of the Dot FEST, the City Festival being organised by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Odisha Tourism.

This was announced at a curtain raiser to BhuFeSto organised at the Bakul Library at Satyanagar in the city here today.

BhuFeSto-2023 will be held from 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm everyday at four different parks and open spaces in different parts of the city. The festival is scheduled to be held at Buddha Jayanti Park at Chandrasekharpur , Indira Gandhi Park ay Unit-2, APJ Abdul Kalam Park near SUM Hospital and Kalabhoomi at  Pokhariput.

The idea is that people in the city can go to the nearest park to enjoy the performances. The storytellers would perform in different parks on different days.

When BhuFeSto was proposed by Bakul Foundation before the last Hockey World Cup in Odisha, the aspiration was to make it the iconic storytelling festival in India. The first edition of the festival in December, 2018 was a grand success with more than 10,000 people enjoying the performances of some of the best storytellers from across the world.

“We were new to the international storytelling circuit at the time of organising BhuFeSto in 2018. After BhuFeSto, particularly during Covid, when Bakul Foundation conducted the popular virtual storytelling web series, Storytime @ 9 and Rabibaar Gapabaar, we were connected with the best storytellers from around the world. We are very happy to announce that almost all the storytellers of the first edition of BhuFeSto will also perform this time,” said Sujit Mahapatra, the founder of Bakul Foundation and the director of BhuFeSto.

Nupur Agarwal, an internationally-acclaimed storyteller, and the Festival Curator, narrated a wonderful story in the curtain raiser for the audience to get a glimpse of what the festival has in store. Prachi Tara, who acquired renown as a storyteller post the first edition of BhuFeSto, also enthralled the audience with a story in Odia. Clips of storytelling by the famous storytellers for BhuFeSto-2023 were also shown during the event.

Bakul Foundation also started a massive outreach programme to make people aware of the festival. Earlier in the day, Nupur Agarwal told stories at Tapoban Ashram School at Khandagiri, Centurion University and the Thakkar Bapa Hostel of Capital High School. She will be telling stories and telling about BhuFeSto at different schools of the city over the next two days.

Outreach sessions will also be held in colleges, apartments and slums of the city ahead of the festival.

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