India is a powerhouse of cinematic talent. From plots to production, and cinematography to special effects, Indian filmmakers have shown craft and capability.

The 15th edition of Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) kicked off on January 28, and many filmmakers have appealed to the Indian government to encourage and promote indie movies.

At a press conference held this week, veteran director and cinematographer Goutam Ghose said although the MIFF is sponsored by the Indian government, its role, however, is limited to merely organizing the event.

The government has to go beyond that and play a role in nurturing quality film culture in the country, he said.

Every movie that’s made in India is an ‘Indian film,’ he said. They should not be segregated or be labeled as, ‘national’ or ‘regional.’ He said that the government should encourage wider screening of regional language films. He appealed to the I and B ministry to allot special slots for screening regional movies on Doordarshan channels.

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Boost Animation Industry

Filmmaker and animator Kireet Khurana pointed out that animation in India has a huge potential and the government should take steps to empower creative talent in the animation sector. Considering Indian animators are handling several animation projects outsourced by foreign countries, it is time the government recognize its in-house talent and boost this industry.

He appealed to the government to telecast made-in-India animation movies. This would help make India an ‘Animation Superpower,’ he said.

New Book On Indian Filmmakers

As part of MIFF 2018, British author Giulia Battaglia launched a book on the Indian filmmaking landscape. The book titled, “Documentary Film In India-An Anthropological History’ explores the lives and challenges of filmmakers.

This book will navigate budding Indian documentary makers and researchers, she said.

Workshop Held

Renowned documentary makers Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl shared their views on the industry. While many are under the impression that one needs to be adept at technology to make good films, Saxena says that it’s not just about tech skills.

Filmmaking is not just about technology, it’s the art of storytelling through the eye of camera, he said.

The creative duo, who conducted, a four-day workshop as part of MIFF 2018 said that there are many budding filmmakers in the country. The objective is to give them the right vision.

It is not as difficult as people think is, the duo said. What one needs is clarity on the subject, comprehension of the problem or issue and the courage to portray it clearly through a creative approach.

“Audio-visual media is certainly a more effective medium, as it reaches out to millions. So, if you get the soul of story, you can definitely touch the hearts of the audience,” Saxena said. His wife Kavita Bahl added that very few women are involved in the technical side of filmmaking.

The workshop aims to encourage women to choose filmmaking career, she said. There are few women in film making career, fewer in technical side, we want to encourage women to choose filmmaking career,’ added Kavita.

National Film Award

Saxena and Bahl will receive a National Film Award for their most recent documentary, “I Cannot Give You My Forest.” The 30-minute movie explores the intersection between the Indian government policy, livelihood of the tribes, human rights, and ecology. The documentary exposes the exploitation of forests and the need to save them from commercial establishments. In short, it points out the fragile state of the country’s natural resources.

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