Those interested in sending their films to international film festivals, can now also access foreign markets and capture the attention of investors for their film projects. The newly launched company, Viewfinder Film Consulting (VFC), by Canada-based Dilani Rabindran, helps south Indian films reach international audiences. It has directors Manikandan, Bramma and Anucharan in the advisory board.
Says an elated Dilani, as she articulates on the reason behind starting this company — “When I was working at the Toronto International Film Festival helping to choose South Asian movies, I noticed that the programming team had good knowledge of mainstream Bollywood films, but very little about south Indian films. The team at the festival were not up to date about the new-age films and filmmakers coming from south India. However, since I was following up with Tamil and other south Indian films, I knew about the films that are coming up,” starts Dilani.
She found this as an opportunity to help filmmakers in south India. “A lot of film festivals outside our country don’t know the independent and content-oriented films from the south. At the same time, a lot of filmmakers from south India didn’t know how to send their films to the festivals. I kind of saw the opportunity on both the sides. And it really sparked off when I met director Manikandan in 2014, during the premier of Kaaka Muttai. He reassured that there are several filmmakers in the south, who have the potential to present their works at the international film festivals.”
One of the advisory board members, director Manikandan, is equally excited about this interesting prospect. He shares, “You may attend a festival to watch a film, but to attend it for your film in a festival is a different feeling altogether. I was thinking why this doesn’t happen for us here in South India. That’s when I met Dilani. She was my translator in Toronto, and I knew she would be able to help us. She has done a lot of work on my films and we decided to collaborate for this initiative.”
Since its formal creation in the summer of 2016, VFC has represented films including Sigai starring Kathir, and director Priyadarshan’s Sila Samayangalil, amidst many other upcoming films.
Though the film enthusiast doesn’t have a formal education in films, Dilani’s passion seems enough to see her through! “Apart from curating films, I didn’t know anything about filmmaking and the process behind it. I decided to get a first-hand experience in film production — right from scripting to post production stage. I quit my full-time job in Toronto and came to India early this year. I worked with a couple of production teams in Tamil, met a lot of filmmakers and got to know more about their work. Their encouragement pushed me to formalise my idea. I know there is a market for it. I can speak on behalf of both the parties — festivals and films. We have a couple of films in hand now and are looking forward to represent south Indian films in a global map.”...