BANGALORE: The India Film Project (IFP), a national filmmaking challenge initiated in the year 2011, has announced this year’s competition and is inviting registrations from aspiring and amateur filmmakers. With a jury that includes renowned names like Shyam Benegal, Hansal Mehta and Umesh Shukla, this year the organisers hope to reach a larger audience, setting their sights at engaging 8,000 participants and receiving over 800 entries. “From 600 registrations across 11 cities in 2009, we saw a participation of 4,200 members from over 42 cities last year. This year we are confident that we will reach a higher number,” informs Ritam Bhatnagar, founder and director of IFP.
The filmmaking challenge
India Film Project 2014 kicks-off on September 12 and the participants will be required to create a film within a span of 50 hours around a theme. From a nation-centric subject last year (India Can Change, around the election period), this time around, the films will be on a lighter note, Ritam tells us. “We will have films that revolve around the idea of entertainment covering different genres like romance, action, humour, drama, etc,” he says.
Once the participants are given the theme, they will get to dive into the finer nuances of making a film – ideation, script writing, choosing the cast, location hunting, shooting, editing, dubbing – before they submit their final product to the panel on September 14. “As I always tell the participants, this challenge not only tests your filmmaking acumen but brings to the fore your time management skills as well. You have to work under pressure and deliver a quality film,” Ritam avers.
A platform like this, he claims, will serve as a launchpad for the young makers. “It is one thing to make a short film and post it on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. But this challenge judges you at a national level against many parameters and brings you face to face with some eminent people in the industry,” Ritam observes.
Moreover, the winners will get a chance to interact with the jury, gain insight into the process of filmmaking and also travel to different festivals in the country.
A diverse audience
Since its inception, IFP has aimed to engage not only the young and budding artistes who wish to gain a foothold in the film industry, but also amateurs who just love to carry a camera and shoot. Ritam mentions that for the past few years, he has seen a four-year-old boy lead a team of film enthusiasts in the competition. Then there are a team of 18 housewives from Kolkata and a 72-year-old couple and their grandson who have participated since IFP’s existence. Reiterating that the filmmaking challenge is for anybody who loves the visual medium, Ritam states, “Almost 15 per cent of our audience is below 15 years of age. It is for anyone who is interested to know more about how films are made.”
You can register your team at www.indiafilmproject.com till September 7. The competition starts on September 12 and will go on till September 14. The winners will be announced on September 20.