Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Flick Fanatic

I attended the annual COMMITS Seminar, named Flickers, today. This year's focus was new trends in Indian Cinema, and featured Ashutosh Gowariker, Nagesh Kukunoor, Khalid Mohammed, Mahesh Dattani, and Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar as speakers. The first three filmmakers mentioned spoke at length about how they entered the world of cinema, what kind of films they make and want to make, and of course, their views on what Indian cinema will and should look like in the near future. All three were very impressive, during their individual addresses, question-and-answer sessions, and the joint discussion. They answered several key questions, including Nupur Basu's "Why don't you make films with strong political messages, seeing as how you have the power?" She should have thought things through before asking that one, in my opinion. Why should every filmmaker have a bloody message? Can't one simply tell a good story? Its going to be bloody difficult to make a movie in this country if its got to have a message. To each his own, ma'am. If these directors don't feel like making political films, they damn well won't.
Mahesh Dattani explained the process of his shift from theatre to film, and how strange it felt. He also answered questions about his various works, adaptations and the like. I didn't stick around for
Nagathihalli, since he failed to hold my attention beyond a few minutes into his speech.
All in all, it was an interesting seminar, but I felt that a few more topics on the subject of new Indian films could have been touched upon. For instance, whether multi-language films will be seen more frequently, the broadcasting of documentaries made in the country, and so on. Well, maybe next time. I had fun. Lots of folks had quirky accents, asked nonsensical questions, and one mate, after hearing Gowariker's speech, screamed out, "Mr. Ashutosh, before you leave, I just want to tell I LOVE YOU!" Fanatics will be fanatics...

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