A panel of non-feature & feature film jury, which included esteemed director Mr. Priyadarshan, infamous Mahabharata narrator Mr. Harish Bhimani, Vinod Ganatra, award-winning actress and filmmaker Sreelekha Mukherji, and docu-film directors Aarti Shrivastava and Ronel Haobam spoke yesterday of their work on this section of the IFFI 2019.
Each one of the 12 jury members watched 341 films in a consecutive 30 days, an experience Mr. Priyadarshan described jokingly as “sometimes torturous!” It was a pleasure to sit amongst such esteemed writers, directors, narrators of India to hear their reasons behind why they selected the shortlisted 20 films, having trawled through synopses of so many others, in many different languages and dialects.
This much-anticipated jury panel of whom 6 were in attendance, spoke of filmmakers in today’s world where it seems that with our smartphones, we become movie makers and songwriters in our own minds, without having the necessary experience or respect for the film.
They all agreed that in today’s digital world, there’s a “deterioration in realistic filmmakers who make a balance between quality films and content.” Mr. Priyadarshan said that whilst watching the films, the panel agreed that “where a film was good in content, it was bad in quality” and vice versa. Mr. Bhimani said “not everyone who has a camera is a cameraman” and he’s totally right. YouTube has an array of films made by amateur directors and actors but even with this platform, if the film doesn’t have the right content and quality, it just won’t make the cut.
Ms. Aarti & Mr. Haobam (who specifically focussed on the North-East of India) spoke of financial restrictions to filmmakers who have the ideas but cannot make them real because they simply don’t have the money. Investment in this area is very much needed and encouraged.