BENGALURU: Fascinated by world cinema, Jay Gholap decided to quit Bollywood films and develop his own world view of what cinema should be.
He started The Open Film School Bengaluru, where he applies his philosophy while making films. He has worked with Ram Gopal Varma on projects like Aag and Darling. When bollywood commercial films failed to satisfy his thirst to make versatile cinema, he decided to quit.
The graduate from New York Film Academy, says, “The subjects that films all over the world deal with are varied.”
The group that he runs in collaboration with a media company organises workshops in the city held every weekend. They regularly also conduct month-long workshops. The sessions include every aspect of film making including script writing, screenplay, camera, cinematography, editing and also acting.
Beginners and working professionals join his sessions. “Some have also quit their jobs and now they make films.” he says adding there are a few who always wanted to make films but couldn’t pursue it back then. With this option, they are now practicing it on weekends.”
He has about 500 students from Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Jay adds, “I give the main lectures. We get professional editors and cinematographers to hold sessions too to teach the nuances to students.”
At the end of every one-month workshop, the students make a short film with the guidance of the professionals. They are then released on YouTube.
Currently, a batch of eight is working on a short film which will portray lives of women artists from 12th century to 21st century.
Srilakshmi Mangat, a content editor who joined the ongoing workshop says that the film will have nine short stories – one on each artist. “Titled To Me it will be crowdfunded. It is still in nascent stage,” she says.
The team is considering roping in the ace dancer and actor Shobana for a part of the film. Jay adds, “The roles will be played by some professional actors. Students will be a part of every aspect of the film. That way they will be exposed to the real world of film making and learn to work with professionals.”
Regarding what encouraged her to join them Srilakshmi says, “I wanted to join a regular film school. But their courses are longer. They are either six months or one year programmes. But these workshops are on weekends. This helps me manage my work and classes well.”