Young filmmakers need passion and conviction to be successful

PANAJI: One needs not just courage and conviction to make a film but a passion that will sustain him even after years of struggle have passed.

This was the general consensus at a discussion on ‘Student Cinema: New Risk takers, Courage and conviction’ organised by the Federation of Film Societies of India in coordination with the organisers of the 41st International Film Festival of India.

The animated discussion in which Directorate of Film Festivals Joint Director Shankar Mohan was the moderator had several teachers and students of cinema interacting on what sustains an upcoming filmmaker.

In his remarks, FFSI President H N Narahari Rao said that new technologies including digitalisation had made it possible for young filmmakers to take the risk of making films and ‘the horizon is seamless’. He referred to several short film festivals in the country which accepted entries from students.

Mohan, who holds additional charge of Director of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, said the passion may remain but young filmmakers must sustain the courage and conviction as well. Mohan said almost 90 per cent of the technicians in Bollywood were from the FTII and so those doing technical courses need not be afraid of finding jobs.

Amresh Chakraburtty, who teaches at the SRFTII, quoted Bresson who had said filmmaking was like a battlefield and said one needed courage to take a three-year course before one could call himself or herself a filmmaker. He later said both FTII and SRFTII were holding festivals of student films.

D G Livingstone who teaches at the Chennai Film School said parental support was also important, while Akash who studies in the School said the reach test of courage was after doing the course.

Samimitra Das of the SRFTII said the filmmaker is his own first audience and this gives him the courage to sustain as a filmmaker. Sometimes convincing parents is only one part of the struggle. What is needed is the conviction to dream and fulfil that dream.

Sandeep Chatterjee from Chennai said the time had come for young filmmakers to take the craft to the next level with new avenues opening up.

Filmmaker Haoban Pabam Kumar (formerly of the SRFTII) whose film ‘Mr India’ was shown here said his experience at the Institute had taught him to grapple with problems relating to filmmaking.

The discussion that followed threw up various views. Some of those in the audience said funding continued to be a problem, while others said students lacked the courage to touch untapped subjects.

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