Paromita Vohra's documentary, 'Partners in Crime' looks at the world of copyrights, art and market trends with the hope that free access for independent art form finds a channel to express itself
It's an acknowledged fact -- copyright issues have plagued the Indian market for decades. "Partners in Crime emerged from the idea that the issue impacts the life of every independent artist. It touches their lives, in some way or the other," says Mumbai filmmaker Paromita Vohra about her latest documentary.
Still from Partners in Crime
"After all, it boils down to basic issues like remuneration and finding a way for free access of art," she adds. Partners in Crime includes stories about artists who make their own music, the anti-piracy fanatics, the DVD street salesmen, even the uploader and downloader.
The 94-minute Hindi-English documentary asks some tough questions on issues the ownership of songs, the contentious world of plagiarism, particularly in Bollywood.
"The independent artist must struggle even more in our part of the world because of the all-encompassing hold of Bollywood. The documentary holds a torch to this breed and looks at many ideas related to the process of creativity and how technology helps them reach out to audiences directly. If they sign up with big music companies or producers, their creative liberty is sure to be compromised. They run into dangerous terrain especially with regards originality. In fact, Bollywood is the biggest plagiariser -- not only do they take away rights of others, they also stake claim on ideas."
Mix 'em up
An eclectic ensemble sound created by a cross-section of musicians and bands including Thermal and a Quarter, Demonic Resurrection, Ram Sampath, Lawrence Liang, Vijaydan Detha, Cdrack and Pete Lockett, the film's music peppers the realistic questions that run through its script. "These independent music artists allowed their work to embody the very spirit and idea of this documentary," shares Vohra, about the impressive line-up.
Released in May 2011, Partners in Crime took a year to complete and its maker hopes it's a small step towards highlighting and acknowledging the work of every creative but vulnerable indie artist.
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