DIFF: Filmmakers talk about Indian ‘indie wave’

Dharamsala, Nov 7 (IANS) Independent Indian filmmakers like Kanu Behl, Ruchika Oberoi, Gurvinder Singh, Bhaskar Hazarika and Abhay Kumar, whose films have been appreciated and honoured at various international film festivals talked about the new wave of Indian indie films at the ongoing Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF).

They also spoke on the “indie movement” that has been witnessed on the global film scenario during a panel discussion.

While in past few years, where Indian films like “Masaan”, “Umrika”, “Chauthi Koot”, “Island City” and “Court” have made India feel proud at various international film festivals, the directors of these films discussed at the panel discussion titled “The New Indian Indie Wave” on Friday, all the problems that they dealt with while making their respective films.

Kanu Behl, whose drama film “Titli” was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, said due to the applause that these indie films are getting globally, many big Indian banners have now started showing interest in producing indie films rather than commercial cinema.

Talking about the production of “Titli”, Behl shared: “I’ve written a couple of films for Yash Raj (Films) in the past also, which haven’t been made I don’t know why. But what I found was that YRF also want to produce small films. They are generally interested in producing films like ‘Titli’.

“Not just YRF, a lot of other big producers and production banner are showing interest in entering this indie film space. But what I feel is that it’s easy to make an indie film, but it’s hard to publicise it.”

“Island City” director Ruchika Oberoi thanked the National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) to allow her to make her film without causing any hindrance. “Island City” won the FEDEORA Award for Best Debut Director at the Venice Film Festival 2015.

Oberoi shared: “I had a great experience working with NFDC. The great thing working with it was that there was complete creative freedom. So there were no restrictions upon me. They don’t interfere in shooting or editing of the film.”

Bhaskar Hazarika, whose film “Kothanodi” was screened at the 20th Busan International Film Festival earlier this year, shared though he comes from a state where cinema is in very “pathetic state”, still he managed to make the film with his brother’s support.

“The journey of the film right from the time I started writing the script to finally capturing visuals on the camera took three and a half years in total. But that’s what it is as I come from a state where cinema is in very pathetic state. There are 130 cinema halls.

“There is one Assamese organisation which provides Rs.20 lakh. But I wasn’t ready with that. So I took money from my brother. Also I did crowd funding and thankfully it helped me a lot. We raised around Rs.21 lakhs and finally made the film,” Hazarika shared.

Same were the circumstances that Abhay Kumar had to go through while making “Placebo”, which has had its premiere at various international film festivals.

He said: “For the marketing of the film, we organised a crowd funding campaign online, but it came out as a wrong decision as we only collected Rs.2 lakh. But after watching the trailer of the film online, many came to know about it and finally we got some support.”

Asked how art cinema can have a better recognition in India, Gurvinder Singh said: “Art cinema cannot grow in isolation. If we want to show any growth in it, then we have to first promote our art, culture, literature and museums. If artistic things will not be promoted well, than how can art cinema grow?”

DIFF, which started on Thursday, is showcasing various Indian as well as abroad indie films, which have been appreciated and honoured for their unique and distinctive content.

The four-day long festival will conclude on Sunday.

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