Govt must facilitate co-productions with other nations

PANAJI: Filmmakers from India feel that co-productions with other countries can prove fruitful to both sides but the government has to facilitate such exchanges.

Renowned filmmaker Goutam Ghose, whose film ‘Moner Manush’ is in competition at the ongoing IFFI, said it was not enough for filmmakers from two countries getting together since formalities like foreign exchange, customs duties etc. have to be facilitated by the two countries.

‘Moner Manush’ on the life of Lallan Fakir starring Prosanjit Chatterjee (son of actor Biswajeet) is being released simultaneously in both India and Bangladesh on 3 December. This is the first ever film to get simultaneous release in the two countries. The film is an Indo-Bangladesh Co-production.

Speaking at the Open Forum on co-productions organised by the Federation of Film Societies of India, Ghose said films with universal subjects can be made not only with other countries but among different states within the country.

He said co-productions among European countries were very common and there was no reasons why India could not do so. He said he himself had been involved with Bangladesh filmmakers for the third time, the last time being ‘Padma Nadir Majhi’.

He said the principal impediment was the mental block in the minds of the filmmakers, since getting permissions from the governments once a project had been conceived was not too difficult. He felt all Saarc countries could collaborate in film projects fruitfully. He said all the countries had a good pool of talent and the money could be shared. The profits will also flow if there is determination.

Answering a question, he said Indian cinema was heterogeneous and he had himself made films in Bengali, English, Hindi, and Telugu.

Replying to another question, he said the appearance of digital technology had made things easier, though he admitted Bangladesh did not have digital theatres. The celluloid will soon only be for archiving.

Prosenjit said co-productions was still an untapped area since very few people had dared to make films with other countries. He had also made a film with Bangladesh around ten years earlier. He stressed that it was important to understand that Indian cinema meant not just Hindi but regional cinema as well.

Answering a question, he said one needed art to make any kind of film – even if it was of the commercial variety.

Sanjay Ghosh who conducted the discussion and U Radhakrishnan of FFSI felt that digital technology could also help in curbing piracy.

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