Film buffs have much to jubilate. Especially when one has the opportunity to discover significant films of celebrated directors such as Sudhir Mishra, Shyam Benegal and Kundan Shah. Ritam Bhatnagar, director of the India Film Project (IFP) in association with National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) will be organising an online film festival, a first for Indian audiences, under the aegis of his initiative.
The Project has gained steam since its inception in 2011 and this year would span to 4000 participants hailing from 40 cities spread across four countries. Moving on from Hollywood Classics that were screened last year, Bhatnagar shares, “Last year, our festival was very well-received with almost 100% occupancy on all five days.
This year, we met people at NFDC who suggested that their catalogue had some of the finest award-winning Hindi films, which we should screen at IFP.” Piqued about how the ambiance and buzz of a film festival could be translated online, we asked how an idea that was in front of everyone all, finally got translated into reality. “This year we have been scaling ourselves from national to being international.
That’s when we thought to webcast the entire nine-day event for participants spread across India, Dubai, Bangladesh and UK. Doing film festivals at a single venue wasn’t making sense with this strategy, so it was a quick decision to take the entire experience of film festival online. This means, no more going to a multiplex but bringing the experience on your laptop screens,” relayed the man holding the strings. Bhatnagar explains how he ensured encryption of content to dissuade piracy and download, yet at the same time compressed the films in order to reduce broadband consumption.
India Film Project Till September 28 Film Festival from September 23 to 27;
Log on to: www.indiafilmproject.co
Screenings will be as follows: Sudhir Mishra’s Dharavi on September 23, Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro on September 24, Priya Krishnaswamy’s Gangoobai on September 25, Vijaya Mehta’s Pestonjee on September 26, which will culminate with Mammo by Shyam Benegal on September 27. One can also catch masterclasses that would be webcasted on the website. The likes of Anand Subaya, editor of Lakshya, Don, Don-2, Talaash; Satish Kataria, director of the crowd-funding platform Catapooolt, and others can also be enjoyed.