This year, the 46th International Film Festival of India has become a memorable and learning experience for cinema lovers and aspiring filmmakers. With its newly introduced special series titled “In Conversation”, the festival has been able to bridge the gap between the audience and the filmmakers and create a platform for discussion on art and craft of films. The series offered film lovers a unique opportunity to travel down the memory lane with path-breaking Indian directors like Rajkumar Hirani, Madhur Bhandarkar, Shyam Benegal, Vettrimaran, Kaushik Ganguli, Priyadarshan, Anand L Rai and Singeetham Srinivasa Rao among others.
Speaking to the audience, Rajkumar Hirani, the director of mass-entertaining films like PK, 3 Idiots and Munna Bhai MBBS said, “A film is being made on writing table and editing table. An editor is an unsung hero because his work is not visible. A good editing creates an emotional impact in audience’s mind and an editor really creates emotions out of shots. A good script is the soul of a film so one should collect lots of material and do a deep research on the theme and subject of the film.” He also expressed that animated film is something that he really wants to make in the coming time.
Sharing the journey of becoming a filmmaker, the promoter of realistic cinema and National Award winning director Madhur Bhandarkar said, “I come from a middle class family in Khar. Though I have not studied after 6th class, I have been an avid reader. Before stepping into filmmaking, I worked as a video cassette delivery boy for 4 years and used to watch films on DVD in one of my friend’s house.” He added that success ratio in the film industry is 99% failure. He was ready to do TV serials if his film ‘Chandni Bar’ did not work.
Talking about his next project, the director of cult films like ‘Raanjhanaa’ and ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ Anand L. Rai said, “My new film is about a boy from Meerut and a girl from Delhi who is a dentist. I find stories in small cities and create characters that more common and can connect well with the audience. Both the actors in my films have 3 ft. height and the film is going to be a real excitement for me to as keeping it real, I am technicality challenging myself to go beyond my comfort area. A director should keep challenging himself with each film.”
With unique initiatives and different sections, IFFI 2015 has been able to reach out to the audience at ground level and has provided filmmakers an opportunity to connect better with audience and aspiring filmmakers.
Note: I worked with International Film Festival of India 2015 as Content Head- PR and handled all on-ground content and communication work while working closely with Ministry of I&B, organising committee and filmmakers.