FC Front Row: A film community for movie lovers

The first session kicks off with a chat with actor Pankaj Tripathi.

MUMBAI: “Only connect” E. M. Forster wrote in his 1910 novel Howards End. A hundred and ten years later, in the throes of a raging pandemic, we are all striving to connect – with conferencing technologies, messaging apps, social media.  And yet, we feel more isolated than ever, lonely in our little boxes, as we appear on Zoom. 

The Front Row is an online collective by Film Companion that gives movie lovers the opportunity to engage with cinema, content, creators and other people who love storytelling. For Rs 99 a month, users can participate in masterclasses, conversations, Q and A sessions with critics and filmmakers, and screenings. 

The first session kicks off with a chat with Pankaj Tripathi, whose life and career exemplify that eventually talent trumps everything. 2020 has been a stellar year for Tripathi professionally with Gunjan Saxena, Mirzapur 2 and Ludo. Anupama Chopra, the editor and founder of Film Companion, will be chatting with him about the challenges of success, how an actor stays current without getting stereotyped and how he manages to create so much out of so little – look at what he did with Sattu bhaiya in Ludo. This is not a typical promotional interview. Tripathi isn’t there to sell his latest work. Instead it is an attempt to find new insights into the actor and his art. And cinephiles can participate in real time. Think of it as attending an exclusive adda. 

“The Front Row is an attempt to get out of the box,” said Anupama Chopra. “One of the things I’ve missed most this year is a sense of connection around film, sitting in that dark hall with strangers, all of us laughing or screaming at the same time, those vehement debates with friends about films or shows we’ve watched, standing in line at a film festival and comparing notes with the person next to me.  We may not be able to recreate these moments (at least in the near future) but we can rebuild that feeling of shared passion and community.” 

That’s the beauty of the Front Row – to celebrate art and artists. When life resumes a semblance of normalcy, the online forum hopes to become an active offline community as well. 

Registration link here.

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