BENGALURU : Financing may well be the most troublesome of all issues for independent film makers, be it short films or feature length ones. However, Shapath Das, co-organiser of the Asia Independent Film Festival, believes the lack of innovative storytelling and creative control are just as pressing.
“Independent films by Indian film makers rarely make it to big festivals like Cannes, Berlin or London. What my colleagues and I are trying to achieve is, exposing our country’s filmmakers and writers to quality content from across Asia. The issue here is that big production houses are managed by MBA professionals who are more concerned about profit,” says Shapath, who hopes this first-of-its-kind festival will be on par with the likes of western ones.
This, he believes, is one of the reasons indie filmmakers run short of funds and therefore produce average content. The festival taking place in Bengaluru, will see 200 plus indie film makers coming together to debate, argue and discuss the challenges of this field; along with screening films and getting an opportunity to be represented at major film markets.
“The kind of discussions with veteran filmmakers that happen at Cannes, don’t get recorded. Aspirants here miss out on learning from the best. We have received films for South Korea, India,
Japan, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Macao, Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh and few from the USA, UK, Italy and Germany,” says Shapath, also the founder of Kolkata-based Doab Uncut Motion that assists South Asian film enthusiasts with a screenwriting lab, post-production funds.
Interestingly, the entire festival is crowdsourced by the networks of the organisers, including Poulomi Mukherjee, executive director and Sudipto Chatterjee, artistic director of Doab Uncut Motion. This is done with the aim to retain creative control, free of corporate restrictions. “I have looked through almost 3,000 films sent by youngsters under the age of 30. A panel of eight members including established filmmakers have gone through each entry at least five times. We’ve also received entries from students from universities abroad – the University of Creative Arts, London, Beijing International Film Academy, etc,” shares Poulomi.
The categories under which 33 films have been selected for screening include: Asian fiction and non-fiction short; student fiction and non-fiction short; international fiction and non-fiction short; Asian fiction and non-fiction feature; international fiction feature. Shapath believes that Indian independent film makers are not pushing their boundaries, and putting in enough time and dedication. “We want to provide a conducive environment to boost their morale. Not only will they get to see what their contemporaries are doing, the jury will also select entries during ‘pitch your short session’ for funding `5,000 per film.”
The event is free and will take place from June 15 to June 17, starting 9 am to 8 pm. It will be held in Atta Galatta, Koramangala.