Eventful Day 3 of NFDC Film Bazaar
National Film Development Corporation’s, ninth edition of Film Bazaar had an eventful day three. Filmmakers like Shekhar Kapur, Anurag Kashyap, Ketan Mehta, Prakash Jha, Bharat Bala, Amala Akkineni were guest speakers at the NFDC Knowledge Series; Kabir Khan, Rajkumar Hirani and Prakash Jha met the participants from all the three Screenwriters’ Lab; Producers’ Lab sessions were conducted by Marco Mueller, Olivia Stewart, and more. Day 3 of the Film Tourism Symposium was with Smt. PravinHoro Singh, Director, Foreigners Division, Ministry of Home Affairs and the film fraternity.
Day three of the Film Bazaar’s NFDC Knowledge Series had an interesting line up. The day started with a session on Skill Development in the Film Industry: Standardized Training Techniques with guest speaker Amala Akkineni, Actor & Hon. Director at Annapurna International School for Film and Media along with the MDof NFDC, Nina Lath Gupta.In an interactive session, Amala spoke about her initiative with Kamal Haasan, towards establishing norms for vocational training for the film sector.She believes that emerging technologies has not only increased the scope of content creation across multiple formats and platforms but have also scaled up the requirement for trained and skilled workers & technicians. It is important that not only the heads of departments, but also the rest of crew are in sync with the best of technology and their effective application. Talking about the Skill Development program, Amala says, “India is 200 years behind in everything and in films; we are still in the beginner stage. If you see in Hollywood, they are far ahead of us and give opportunities to skilled people. The Indian Film Industry is in immense need of skilled people and we must encourage them.
The next session was on Film in India with State focus on Madhya Pradesh; guest speakers- Sandesh Yashlaha, Company Secretary, In-Charge – Film Unit, MP State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. and filmmaker PrakashJha conducted this session. Having shot films like Rajneeti, Aakarshan, Chakravyuh, Satyagrahand upcoming film Jai Gangaajal, PrakashJha shared his experience. “I am extremely fortunate to have discovered Madhya Pradesh as a shooting destination. During the 7 films that I have shot in the State of Madhya Pradesh, I have never had a day of disturbance while shooting. Even when we had the problem of change of locations, the authorities were kind enough to open up the offices even at midnight, to facilitate the paperwork. The entire city of Bhopal works for you as a film studio. The State of Madhya Pradesh along with its people have a very co-operative attitude towards filmmakers”, added filmmaker Jha.
New Voices: Pushing Boundaries in Creation, Marketing, and Monetization was moderated by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap while directors Amit Masurkar (SulemaniKeeda) and Bardroy Barretto NachoaeaKumpasar shared insights on making and releasing their films. Amit’s contemporary indie-classic Sulemani Keeda had a small theatrical release, garnered good reviews, and was later released online on theviralfever.com. Amit said, “I made the film in 8.5 lacs because everyone worked for free and then we needed another 20 lacs to release the film. I didn’t go into crowd-funding because I didn’t’ want that obligation. We have had many people who championed the cause of the film.”
Bardroy Barretto director of Nachoaea Kumpasar said, “The movie has been running for 1 year in one screen in Goa.We are banking on word-of-mouth publicity and I’m taking it to different platforms and cities, at our own pace. We did crowd-funding and within 4 years we expect to break even, repay our producers, and make more money.”
Anurag Kashyap said that there are many ways to exhibit a movie and people need drive. “We must not run to distributors and exhibitors. We must let them come to us. Web series are a great option for us right now. Netflix has released Gangs of Wasseypur as a web-series now. The other advantage of a web series is that we do not need to deal with obnoxious censorship and we have creative freedom.”
He added, “If you have the drive to recover your money, you can make it happen. Guneet Monga, for example, took her movie from school to school in order to break-even.”
As part of Film in India, State focus on Tamil Nadu; guest speakers for this sessions were Har Sahay Meena, Commissioner of Tourism and Managing Director –TTDC and filmmaker Bharat Bala highlighted the beauty of Tamil Nadu. Bharat Bala showed the audience a clipfrom his film Maryan, which was shot in the State. HarSahayMeena also promised the attendees that he his department willhelp filmmakers with shooting permission.
The guest speaker for the session on VR Technology & New Film Narratives was Shekhar Kapur and moderated by Sudhir Mishra. Shekhar Kapur started the session with telling the audience that they are in an age where one carries their screen in their pocket and one can watch films on their handset. People all over the world are creating creative content on their phones and will soon be using the Virtual Reality Technology for the experience which will customize film viewing further.
Each viewer wears the VR headset and navigates through the film viewing experience.They can choose certain perspectives in the film and even situations. In other words, every viewer in a room can actually watch the same film differently. Immersive Viewing as it is called is the next big thing and this kind of viewing experience makes you wonder about the future of content creation. Talking about his experience with VR, Shekhar Kapur says, “I am experimenting with virtual reality filmmaking. I have always wanted to make a film on Buddha but three hours would be too long. Now I am trying to make a 13-14 minutes film on Buddha with VR.” The surprise element of today was Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi showcased the trailer of Wazir to the audience attending Film Bazaar today.
Partnerships Manager at Twitter India, Pratiksha Rao conducted a session on Twitter – Super Interactive, Multi-platform Hosts. The session was on Twitter India’s focus to expand greater usage of the medium for social media marketing. In an ecosystem where a platform like Facebook is moving towards content creation using new VR technologies.
The session on Re-Creating Real Stories-Crossing the Legal Bridge (including Challenges in the context of copyright/IPR; E&O) featured filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Ketan Mehta along with Madhu Gagodia, Equity Partner, NaikNaik& Company and was moderated by broadcast journalist and producer, Anuradha Sengupta. Both the prolific filmmakers cited instances of the difficulties they have faced and the absurd cases slapped against them during the making of biopics and real-life inspired movies. They have had to fictionalize facts. Anurag Kashyap said, “Making films in the country is a painful process. I had a terrible time releasing Black Friday because it was based on the 1993 Bombay blasts. Filmmakers are a soft target for everything. If the government wants to increase feelings of patriotism, then they insert the National Anthem, if they want to stop smoking, they have a no-smoking disclaimer. These rules don’t apply to anyone else.”Ketan Mehta added, “India is the most litigious country. Litigations, extortions, and controversies are the reality of filmmaking in India.”
Filmmakers Kabir Khan, Rajkumar Hirani and Prakash Jha met the participants from all the three Screenwriters’ Lab today.The Producers’ Lab had few interesting sessions including The Importance of Film Festivals conducted by Marco Mueller, Film Critic and Historian and Professor at the Academy of Architecture – Universitdella SvizzeraItaliana; Wearing the Creative Hat conducted by Olivia Stewart, Creative Collaborator.Lunch on November 23rdwas co-hosted by Tamil Nadu Tourism and Chhattisgarh Tourism; and the evening network event was hosted by Splice Studioz.