New distribution avenues obviate docu filmmakers' dependence on state: IDPA

NEW DELHI: The scene appears to be changing for makers of meaningful short, documentary and animation films.Though the multiplex culture has shrunk distribution possibilities in the cinema hall, those associated with this genre of cinema are no longer despondent, with many more channels including television channels and portals accepting their films and paying for them, albeit in small sums. In addition, there are the new entrepreneurs who are taking packages of small films to rural or semi-urban areas or schools and colleges, and showing these films and then indulging in discussions.

This was the general outcome at the open forum organised by the Indian Documentary Producers‘ Association (IDPA) in collaboration with the Films Division. Those who attended the forum agreed that there was no need for filmmakers to depend on state support either for financing or exhibition outlets as technology had opened newer avenues. COO Vikram Prabhu said that he launched the portal after he had collected a large sum of money to make a feature film, a project he was forced to give up for various reasons. He then started the portal which is now showing features and non-features on mutually agreed business models. The online TV channel is now viewed by people all over the country and abroad, and is encouraging filmmakers to approach him to put their film online. He said he was surprised to learn that the number of people interested in seeing short films was very large.

Rakesh Sharma, whose film The Final Solution had won several awards a couple of years ago, said there exist a variety of avenues for short films. He said that it was perhaps ironical that his film had done well because it was banned, but there were demands from different parts of the country for the film. He has now allowed all portals to "pirate and circulate" his film on condition that they buy at least one print. Very often those who pirate the films come back to him as they are not satisfied until they have the original. He sells his prints at subsidised rates as that helps him show it all over the country and overseas. He has, so far, managed to sell 18,000 DVDs of The Final Solution and 8,000 copies of Aftershocks, both based on events in Gujarat.

Sharma asked why a portion of the huge entertainment tax collected by the governments was not being ploughed back into the industry. He also questioned why there was no subsidy for distribution, and why multiplexes were not showing short films despite the fact that they had been given a five-year tax holiday. A condition could have been laid before giving the tax holiday that at least one screen be devoted to short films. He also said filmmaking was no longer capital intensive since one could make a film and edit it on a PC. He suggested that short filmmakers put promotionals of other filmmakers in their films.

Saratchandran and P Babu Raj related their experiences of how they had taken their own films and those of others to different parts of Kerala where audiences and students took part in discussions. Saratchandran said that some television channels in Kerala like the terrestrial channel Kerala Vision were devoted to documentary films.

Babu said dependence on Doordarshan had become futile and therefore filmmakers had to find their own outlets. Entrepreneur Subhash Chheda also agreed and said good money could be made with wise screenings in semi-urban and rural areas.

Gargi Sen, a distributor of short films, said this was done on a 65-35 basis. However, she also added that she only had 130 films with her.

Vidyarthi Chatterjee who conducted the discussion said it was futile depending on the state or on Doordarshan, while NDTV producer Gunjan Jain said her channel was now acquiring documentary films.

Latest Reads
Jio MAMI: Royal Stag Barrel joins Star to promote short films

The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has managed to involve Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films to provide a platform within the short films category.

Movies Hindi
India against obstructing Fawad film; Maharashtra assures 'protection'

Even as PEMRA's ban on Indian content looms, the Indian Government has made it clear that it will not create any impediment for the release of producer-director Karan Johar’s 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ starring popular Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, among others.

Movies Hindi
'Thithi' to open Dharmashala fest; to screen 45 features and shorts

A total of 45 features and shorts are to screened at the fifth Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) to be held from 3 to 6 November.

Movies Hindi
New films: The business of a few lakhs

The dull pre-Diwali period has taken its toll. The films released recently as well as last Friday have fallen like nine pins. Some of these have been forced to commit hara-kiri as they would not be able to get playtime at the cinemas in peak period when the flow of star cast films is regular. The...

Movies Hindi
Bollywood supports Govt's Pak policy; pleads for ongoing projects

NEW DELHI: The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd today expressed “genuine concern of all those film producers who have invested heavily in films featuring artistes from across the border.” Even as it expressed unflinching support to the Central Government and solidarity with the...

Movies Hindi
MotuPatlu: King Of Kings (3D).......Kid stuff

MotuPatlu: King Of Kings (3D) is India’s own homebred animation film featuring characters of the popular Hindi comic strip of the same name that features in Lot Pot magazine.

Movies Hindi
Competitive short film fest to coincide with Risk Development meet

NEW DELHI: A short films competition on the theme of Risk Sensitive Development for Community Resilience will be organised at the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 being held here.

Movies Short Films
Artificial intelligence powers movie streaming aggregator Flickstree

MUMBAI: People decide to watch a movie online and are happy to spend some valuable time. Happy time with your friends, your partner or may be alone. For sure, it sounds fun! After all, who doesn’t like to binge on great films?

Movies Movies On Mutiple Platforms
No trick in the book worked on screen

The week’s major release, Mirzya, seems to have started on a wrong note in that, the posters designs as well as promos of the film did not quite manage to raise curiosity. If at all, they gave out a sort of negative vibes about the film. That the Navratri festival and the pre-Diwali period are...

Movies Hindi

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories