?Roll, Camera, Action? says India Film Project

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By Jigar Ganatra

Aspiring filmmakers across the globe come together to celebrate filmmaking with country?s most prolific cinematic names.

Steven Spielberg once said, ?You shouldn?t dream a film, you should make it.? We understand that a lot of people who dream about it, somehow do not get a platform to make and showcase their filmmaking ability.

This concern is what turned into the concept of Asia?s largest film making challenge ? India Film Project (IFP). Ahmadabad based Ritam Bhatnagar, the man behind the initiative who also dons several other roles of being a producer, distributor and an entrepreneur, shares some excerpts in an interview about the project.

Read on...

Tell us about the idea behind IFP.

India Film Project (IFP) began as a simple idea where we wanted filmmakers to meet and make a film, as an activity over the weekend, in just 50 hours. The basis behind this initiative was to provide a platform to thousands of budding filmmakers and technicians, thereby helping them showcase the talent.

We are currently in the fifth edition, but initially when we conceptualised it, we thought it would be a one-time event. The response we have received in our previous editions has helped us grow year after year.

Can you share the experience from previous editions?

In the first edition, the idea was to spread the word and bring together the talent we discovered across Ahmedabad. We found from our research that Ahmedabad had a lot of filmmaking talent. During the registrations, we expected around 200 entries, but were surprised to receive 600 entries in total. We realised that there was a massive talent pool in search of a platform. Thus, the project was planned year after year with increasing number of entries. In the third edition, IFP went national and that?s when we knew what they all were looking for.

What is special about this edition?

This year, the event has gone international. We are proud to have received around 640 entries from 182 cities and 18 countries, and we are expecting around 15,000 filmmakers this year. We work hard on deciding the theme every year, so as to make the films interesting.

'There is a Twist in the End? is the theme we decided this year. The participants were asked to submit their entries with a compulsory element of dance.

Have you received any support from the film industry?

We are pleased that the industry has been very supportive. Every year we have been lucky to get renowned members from the movie business. This year too, we have critically acclaimed jury from the film industry on board, which includes the famous filmmaker Ketan Mehta, Onir (from Anticlock Films), Guneet Monga of Lunch Box fame and film critic Raja Sen.

Tell us more about your association with Gujarat Government.

The success we have seen with this event made us believe that the event could be very unique to the state of Gujarat. Surprisingly, the response we received from the government was also the same. We were told that the government was looking for an initiative that becomes an identity for the state. Further, the winners will be given an opportunity to shoot an ad film for Gujarat Tourism, which according to us, is a big opportunity for any filmmaker.

What prizes do the winners get every year?

The team at IFP do not believe in cash awards. We have always wanted to give them an opportunity to work on a big project, so that they create a mark and the event holds a big place in their career. This has helped the participants to take up film and ad making as a career. Many are now associated with certain production houses too.

The selection of the winners would happen on different criteria, most importantly content, concept and writing. The winners this year would be registered as wild card entries at IFFI, Goa. Other prizes would include gadgets and few film making projects too.

More details about the event can be found here: http://indiafilmproject.co/#

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