i, the independent film festival, ends

The people organising i put this out a couple of days ago. Here it is as put out by them.

The curtains came down for “i,” the first annual indie film festival and unconference organised by the Indian Independent Filmmakers Foundation and Sathyam Cinemas with Bharatbala’s Hari Om on Friday morning.

“Independent filmmakers shouldn’t try to release their films like mainstream films because they need time,” Bharatbala told a full house during a panel discussion following the film. “Why can’t we just release it in one city at a time when we don’t have the marketing budgets,” he asked.

Hari Om has been to 46 film festivals and won seven audience awards since it was produced in 2004. The film is expected to hit the halls later this year.

G.Dhananjayan, Chief Operating Officer of Moser Baer, explaining the company’s decision to get into mainstream film production, said that it was imperative for films to find a release in the cinemas before they could be sold on video. “There are films that are made directly for video abroad. But here, people know about the films only if they are released in the cinema halls,” he said.

Kiran Reddy, Managing Director of Sathyam Cinemas said that there was a shortage of quality cinema halls. “We tried bringing in world cinema through a slot called Pure Cinema and realised that we had to work really hard to bring people in to watch these films,” he said. “We succeeded only in Chennai because we had our own halls but outside, not many multiplexes were willing to put the effort. The media needs to do its bit to promote such films,” said Kiran.

Responding to that, Baradwaj Rangan, Features Editor, New Sunday Express, said that just like cinema halls, newspapers too found that there was only a niche readership for such films and hence editors chose to keep the word-limit for stories on indie films low.
In the course of the weeklong festival, GV Films offered to provide a start-up fund for a script clinic. Madhav Das said that the film industry faced a shortage of good scripts. “We have dates from stars but no scripts that interest them. We have Madhavan’s dates but he only wants scripts where he beats up people. He’s tired of playing the loverboy,” he said.

Conventional producer Sriram (Aalayam) said that script or no script, if a simple screenplay narration can hold his interest without him feeling the need to take a cigarette or coffee break, he would instinctively know if the director was capable of delivering a film.

The Show Would Go On:

“The festival might be over but our work has just started,” said K. Hariharan, Filmmaker and Director of L.V.Prasad Film Academy announcing the following:

1. In association with Sathyam Cinemas, IIFF would organise a monthly showcase for short films that otherwise don’t find exhibition spaces. The only criteria is that they should be censored.

2. The launch of the script clinic initiative, thanks to the startup fund proposed by GV Films.

3. An online network for actor and technician database at iiffchennai.ning.com is fully functional for young filmmakers to register and interact with each other.

4. Periodical workshops on screenwriting and digital filmmaking at Sathyam Cinemas and LV Prasad Film and TV Academy where professional writers and filmmakers would spend half a day in sharing their insights and expertise.

5. Colleges can register for IIFF Film Clubs by emailing iiffchennai@gmail.com. There is absolutely no membership fee. Film Clubs will organise screenings in their college auditoriums once a month. Membership to Film Clubs would automatically entitle students from those colleges to utilise other IIFF Film Club venues to showcase their films.

2 Comments so far

  1. Andy (unregistered) on September 11th, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

    “In association with Sathyam Cinemas, IIFF would organise a monthly showcase for short films that otherwise don’t find exhibition spaces. The only criteria is that ‘they should be censored.'”

    Censored? For what? What is the use of calling cinema pure when you are offering a diluted version? That does not augur well for indie film makers.

  2. nandhu (unregistered) on September 11th, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

    censored merely means that the film should have received a censor board certificate. it not possible under law to screen films that do not have a certificate and hence the rule.

    this is what i gathered.

    and this does not necessarily mean that the film will be cut. i understand your concerns about “dilution” of films, but i am afraid those concerns aren’t quite relevant here.

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