Bengaluru: Just a few days ago at the 8th Bengaluru International Film Festival, an aspiring director asked ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam how to reach popular directors to get experience before venturing on their own. Mani Ratnam was quick to answer that working under directors as assistants and associate directors is of little use, and that they should start with short films and documentaries.
There are many at BIFFES who have done that. Several young directors, whose films are being screened in various categories, shared their experiences on the challenges they faced.
Naomi Shah's Alpajeevi, being screened under the students’ documentary shorts, is based in Rann of Kutch. Alpajeevi, or short-lived, takes a look at the unique lifestyle of two families – one a royal family on its last legs and the other a family of a salt-cultivating Agarias. The polarity between the grandeur and simplicity, the old and the new, the non-rural and the rural brings the narrative together in a lyrical manner.
Payal Sethi, who works as an assistant to Mira Nair, decided to start her solo journey with Leeches, which is also set for screening at the upcoming Tampere Film Festival (one of the top three short film festivals). The theme of her movie is the contract marriage in the Muslim community that still exists in Hyderabad. Made with a shoe-string budget of Rs 6 lakh, the movie raised money through with crowd-funding.
Suneel Raghavendra, an engineer and a film diploma holder, in his Puta Tirugisi Nodu has narrated the life of Mohan, a young cricketer turned teacher, who has to overcome a big challenge in his personal life, and teach a motley bunch of kids what it means to play hard but fair.
After gaining experience working under Prakash Rai, he borrowed money from his father to fulfil his dream. After a lot of struggle, he has finally been able to see his creation on the big screen....