Formula culture hard to break, say young filmmakers

Panaji, Nov 23 (IANS) Cash crunch and inability to convince producers about novel plots are the big hurdles young filmmakers in the country are facing, said a group of directors attending the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here Friday.

Speaking about their fears during an open interaction among filmmakers and delegates, successful young directors Gauri Shinde, Onir and Umesh Kulkarni said despite advances made by the film industry, the formula phenomenon still haunted most youngsters who offered interesting stories and narratives.

Gauri Shinde's Sridevi−starrer "English Vinglish" might have been a hit, but she said she had too had to struggle.

"When I started out, I didn't think it would be an uphill task. I just went with my belief. But I then saw that people were not convinced. There was an unknown female debutant director, a yesteryear women in the lead, no hero, no item number, no conventional formula of Hindi cinema. I couldn't at first understand their hesitance," she said.

Shinde was not a nobody even though her husband, R. Balki, is one of Mumbai's leading ad men and director of Amitabh Bachchan−starrers "Cheeni Kum" and "Paa".

Still, Shinde said, it did not spare her the chore of making rounds of film distributors' offices.

Asked about the relationship of money with cinema, Gauri said: "It is important to make money and to return money. Filmmaking is not an indulgence by itself or at the other person's cost."

Onir, known for his innovative marketing strategies for promoting his films, recalled an episode where a producer asked him to reorient his lead character to a bisexual to "enhance" the fortunes of "My Brother, Nikhil".

"My films come from a space where we want to question certain aspects of life. These are films of a kind that require patronage. So the basic idea cannot change. For example, with 'My Brother Nikhil', it was impossible to get finance. I was asked to change the character and make him bisexual," Onir said.

He said the movie came to a fruition only because "all the actors worked for free" and mega production house Yash Raj Films distributed it.

The film was based on the real life story of a gay man in Goa, one of India's first recorded HIV fatalities.

"The problem lies little with making the film. But after you are done with it, what do you do? I think there should be a space created for independent cinema, for free−thinking cinema," he said.

Umesh Kulkarni, a Marathi director and alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India, known for films such as "Valu" (The Seed Bull), "Vihir" (The Well) and "Deul" (Temple), said Marathi films neither had proper distributors or buyers. But one had to make films to ensure that they went to the people.

"After borrowing money from friends and relatives we completed the film. The Marathi film industry doesn't have distribution or buyers, but luckily my film was properly released in theatres and ran for six months," he said.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »