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Young filmmakers rue absence of exhibition platforms for alternate cinema

Most young Indian filmmakers, who indulge in experimental cinema today, feel unsure about distribution and exhibition, though most agree there is a gradual shift in the audience to a different kind of cinema. However, they agree that there is need to be more aggressive about marketing, since films are made to be seen by the audiences, howsoever personal they may be


Ashish R Shukla who had made ‘Prague’, which is in competition and having its world premiere says, he is now learning to be a businessman and learning to speak about the merits of his films to distributors. He said many filmmakers are unable to sell their films because they are unable to talk about them, even though they may be very artistic and vocal when making the film.

Jaideep Panjabi, whose production ‘Patang’ directed by Prashant Bhargava is in the Indian competition said that some theatre chains had come forward to support a different kind of cinema, and this will help to cultivate audiences. He said, people still loved to come to theatres to watch their films, as against seeing DVDs.

Sharat Katariya, whose film ‘10ml Love’, which is a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ agreed that India had begun to produce a niche audience.
 
Ajita Suchitra Veera, whose film ‘Ballad of Rustom’ is being screened in competition said, it was unfortunate that India did not have dedicated art houses like in the United Kingdom. There was a huge focus on mainstream cinema in India, and therefore a distribution platform for a different kind of cinema was needed.

Earlier Ashwini Malik, whose film ‘Monophobia’ is in competition here said, he had graduated from the ‘Film and Television Institute of India’ in 1994 and then written TV shows before making his first TV film at a time when Doordarshan films were not popular elsewhere. ‘Monophobia’ is about the fear of being alone, and has no actors and one only sees the hands and feet. Ashwini said, he had made the film because good writing has always been neglected and he wanted to prove that a good script can be converted into a film.

Jaideep said his film had its premiere in the Berlinale and has been released in North America. He hopes to release it in India, by the end of the year. The film had been eight years in the making and had been shot in Ahmedabad, with 90 per cent non-actors and only Seema Biswas as the most recognizable face. He wanted to show how people get healed through celebration, by shooting the yearly kite festival, where over 10,000 colourful kites are fluttering at any time.

Sharat said, he was happy that his film, which was having its Indian premiere here had been accepted by the OCFF.  

Ashish said he had made the film after his producer visited Prague and came back saying he had encountered a dark energy in the city. Ashish then wrote a script, which was approved and the film was made.

Ajita, who also did her course in FTII in 2004 said hers was not a formula film and was based on imagination. She was from the old school and had shot in     35 mm and not digitally, to make what she terms as a very uncompromising film.

Ajay Behl whose ‘B A Pass’ is in competition said, the film was a reaction of five years of unemployment and said, the film was a euphemism for showing the poor treatment of people, who are not highly trained.

Dhiraj Meshram, whose film ‘Baromas’ (Forever) is in competition said, his film was based on a Sahitya Akademi award-winning novel. It is probably the only non-urban Indian film at the festival and is about the condition of farmers, who are desperate to leave farming and immigrate to the cities, or take up other vocations.  

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