“I shot for nine years to get one hour of my film ‘The World’s Most Famous Tiger’, filmmaker S Nalla Mutthu” | IFFI 2018
Diverse storytelling and cultures combined with film screenings from the world over at IFFI 2018~
Films are an integral part of our culture but there are films which we might not watch because of varied interests. Storytelling has seen a massive shift considering the time, interests and commercial aspects in the current era. Interacting with the media, filmmakers from India and outside shared their views on filmmaking, their stories and issues they face.
Media interaction of Feature Film and Non-feature film directors in Indian Panorama section in IFFI 2018
Attending the joint press conference director Remiya Raj talked about her film Midnight Run which is based on a true incident. “I have tried to portray the transformation of fear- from being scared to instigating the same fear into someone else”, said Remiya who was overwhelmed with the response received from the audience for her film. Remiya is also one of the nine woman filmmakers whose movies have been selected in the Indian Panorama Section.
While Remiya talked about the element of fear, Nitish Patankar director of Na Bole Wo Haram said that there is a common link between terrorism and all bad things. “People can use anything, be it caste, religion or god for their own interests. The film has been narrated in a simple way, using religion as a background and two children as symbols of human nature”, he added. He narrated to the media how the news of terrorist attack at Peshawar school led him to a conceptualize story of his film.
‘Na Bole Wo Haram’ is a directorial debut film by Nitish Patankar. It is based on short fiction written by Aditya Bhagat. Patankar has also directed a play called ‘Rooh Hamari’.
“I don’t make films for biologists, conservationists or activists. I make my films for people with an Indian perspective. I say so because most of the documentaries have western perspective of storytelling”, said S Nalla Muthu while addressing the media. His documentary ‘The World’s Most Famous Tiger’ is showcased in the Non Feature Film section of Indian Panorama. Nine years of the footage shot has been converted into an hour of film which shows the determination, bravery and confidence of Machli, the legendary tiger queen of Ranthambhore National Park. He also pointed out that since India does not have a dedicated channel or channel slot for environmental projects, we have to depend on channels like National Geographic and Discovery, which demands a quality product.
S Nalla Muthu also won the Best Exploration/Adventure Film Life Force award for ‘India’s Western Ghats’ in non-feature film category at 62nd National Film Awards in 2015.
Hari Viswanath’s film Monitor is based on a true life incident faced by his friend who suffered sexual harassment at her workplace. Through his film he wishes to inspire women to stand-up against sexual harassment and raise their voice. “We made this movie long before the #metoo movement spread in the entire country. This is a fictional film based on a true story of a friend of mine who was sexually harassed at her workplace. I made this to inspire other women to face such incidents with courage”, said Hari who suggested to come up with some inspirational or motivational solutions.
There is a very limited audience for documentaries in India: Usha Deshpande
Getting audiences and funds are the two challenges before the documentary film makers and efforts are being made to overcome these problems said President, IDPA-Indian Documentary Producers Association, Ms. Usha Deshpande while talking to media. General Secretary, IDPA, Sanskar Desai was also present.
IDPA is endeavouring to provide exposure to documentary film-makers by organising film screenings, approaching film clubs for screening, negotiating with television channels for slots and participating in film festivals across the country. It also organises competitions, workshops, seminars, masterclasses etc said Ms Deshpande.
Talking about Open Forum which is going to be organised from 25-27 November for an hour starting at 1:30 during IFFI 2018, Deshpande declared the following themes :
- Director’s take on biopics -how much fact and how much fiction is there in it?
- Is technique over-riding content in today’s film-making and its impact.
Feature Film makers from Indian Panorama section present at IFFI 2018
In another press conference, the directors of feature films in Indian Panorama ‘Sudani From Nigeria’, ‘To Let’ and ‘Abyakto’ addressed the media.
Chezhiyan Ra (director – To Let) said his film is based on his personal experience when he was asked to leave his house because of the greed of his owner to get higher rent. “It appears to be a usual thing to shift house but it is indeed a big deal to leave your house when you have emotional attachment to it. The film tries to portray all those emotions, quarrels and trauma associated with the searching of house within a deadline of 30 days”, the director said.
Sharing his experiences on filmmaking, Zakariya (director – Sudani from Nigeria) said the story is about the bonding that ensues after a Sudanese player gets injured during a Sevens tournament in Kerala. Started initially as an independent project funded by friends, the team was fortunate to get two prominent producers from Malayalam film industry. The film, made on a low budget, was released in 128 theatres and successfully ran for more than 100 days, making it a box office success, he added.
Arjun Dutta (director – Abyakto) said that it was the most enriching experience of his life. His interaction with media was quite simple as he quickly narrated story of his film and expressed his joy to work with Adil Hussain. “My short film gave me the confidence to make a feature film. Its all about making that decision”, concluded Arjun Dutta.
“New Media is opening new opportunities for the survival of film industry”
Open forum marked the presence of renowned director Shaji Karun, national award winning director, Pampally who marks his debut in IFFI this year, Vinod Gnatra, Chairman non-feature film, IFFI and David Shapiro, founder, Uplifting Cinema Pvt. Ltd.
“All that matters is the things we say from the heart not the technology. Filmmakers have become so enamoured by the equipment and abilities of the special effects that ‘we’ve lost touch with what motivates people to watch a drama or presentation of art in the first place”, said David.
Vinod Ganatra, Chairman, Non-feature Film, IFFI 2018 expressed his concerns over the culture that is accepting all that is coming along the way. He stated that emphasis was on the script in the old days, and shooting on celluloid meant careful selection of frames and shots. However digitisation has changed this.
Present at the forum, director of the film Sinjar, Pampally said that while technology has made it easier for younger generations to make movies faster, there is a need to focus on the craft.
The event was hosted by N Shashidhara, Vice President, FSSI, South Region.
Veit Helmer (director – The Bra) in another round of media shared how one of the books he brought got him into filmmaking.
“I am not from filmmaking background. There is a book which is called ‘How have you done it?’ on Alfred Hitchcock and it talks about use of dialogues in movies and there is a quote with Hitchcock says, when you use dialogue there is something lost for the audience. Cinema should be about visual storytelling. It was a challenge to make a film without dialogues”, said Veit who was overwhelmed to receive lovely response from the audience.
Present among the others was Camilla Storm (director – Phoenix) who was amazed by the response she received. “It is very special to be here. I was amazed to see that the auditorium was full. People from different cultures present in one movie hall, was awe-inspiring for me. I am touched”, expressed Camilla. The film is about children are forced to take the responsibility of parents because the parents failed. “This is the theme that resonates with many people and it is based on personal experience. It has taken me 12 years to make this film which is quite dark. I am glad that the audience is taking it well”, added Storm who is also an actress.
Celebration of Jharkhand Day at International Film Festival of India 2018
Jharkhand has been captured multiple times on celluloid by great filmmakers including Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak when it was part of Bihar. But after attaining statehood, this scenic landscape seems to have slightly gone off the movie location map for some time. Under the able leadership of Chief Minister Raghubar Das, the state is all set to capture back its lost glory in the arena of cinema making.
On 24th November, IFFI celebrated the Jharkhand day with fervour. Cultural troops from Jharkhand performed indigenous dance forms like Paika, Mardana Jhumar, Seraikela Chhau and Domkach accompanying the tunes of Mandar and Bansuri, showcasing the rich cultural legacy of the region.
Pankaj Tripathi attended the NFAI exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi
Acclaimed actor Pankaj Tripathi attended the exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi which is been held at Kala Academy.
As a part of the 49th IFFI main programme, in an attempt befitting the Mahatma, who inspired countries around the world with his philosophy of Truth and Non-Violence (Satyagraha and Ahimsa), the National Film Archives of India in collaboration with the Bureau of Outreach and Communication is organizing a multi-media digital exhibition.
Titled “Mahatma on Celluloid”, the exhibition provides a highly state-of-the-art digital experience to the viewers who can relive the life and times of Mahatma, the way in which people across the world drew inspiration from his ideals and work.
The exhibition showcases films on Gandhi, quizzes, games and interactive digital gizmos which will provide the visitors the patriotic fervor by transporting them into the bygone era of freedom movement of India.