India Film Project is already creating buzz in the fraternity since the announcement of its 9th edition. This year, the community of 6.5 million filmmakers and content creators will be coming together on 12th and 13th, October 2019 in Mumbai for Asia’s largest content creation festival. India Film Project (IFP) since its maiden year is recognized for bringing on board jury members with creative, impactful and cerebral expertise. Names like Shyam Benegal, Ketan Mehta, Sudhir Mishra, Sriram Raghavan, Madhur Bhandarkar, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Shoojit Sircar, Hansal Mehta, Vetri Maaran, Bejoy Nambiar, Vikramaditya Motwane, Guneet Monga and many more have been a part of IFP’s Jury in past eight seasons. This year too they have some amazing names on board like Apurva Asrani, Bhavani Iyer, Saiwyn Quadras, Amandeep Kaur, Jidnya Sujata, Yahya Bootwala, Raj Khatri amongst the names mentioned below.
50 Hour Film Making which happened on 28th – 30th September, it has received remarkable number participation. It is renowned as the world’s largest film making challenge. It completed with the participation of 35000 filmmakers, 1700 teams, 325 cities, 14 countries this year with extremely unique teams. This adrenaline rush challenge summons the participants to create content from scratch including scripting, shooting, and post-production in a span of just 50 hours. The panellists for the famous flagship property 50-hour film-making, this year were Abhishek Chaubey, Anjali Menon, Pal Nalin, and Pradeep Sarkar.
One of them being Abhishek Chaubey, the Ishqiya director, one of the gems of the industry who has been associated with films like Madkee, Omkara, Udta Punjab to name a few. Enclosing an interesting conversation of him –
1. When you sit to judge film makers, what goes in your mind? How does one come down to judge filmmaking?
Abhishek- Essentially, the person should be instinctive you know as a film what I am really looking for is a great story. I mean filmmaking films and other stories but what I am really looking for a good story that is told very well and that’s the essential criteria. I mean that’s what you are really looking for. Technically also you judge a film but that all is secondary what matters is how the story has been told.
2. How do you react to the idea of 50 hours of filmmaking?
Abhishek- I think it’s a tremendous initiative, I think it’s a great idea, most filmmaking is race against time, you know and all filmmakers regardless of whether they are making a film in 50 hrs or 50 days are essentially thinking on their feet and skills like problem solving and man management are essential while shooting a film. So in the 50hrs challenge, these challenges become very critical and very important so the filmmaker will have to think out of the box and will have to come up with an innovative idea in order to make the film happen in the stipulated time and it’s a great learning experience for filmmakers.
3. In your view, how does a platform like India Film Project helps content creators?
Abhishek- I think it does great service to young filmmakers you know. Back when I had started, 15-20 years ago these kind of opportunity wasn’t available to us. And by starting something like this young filmmaker will get a platform where they can show their skills to people at large and can get rewarded and credited for their work. I think that’s good because it brings a sense of confidence in them as they go ahead and I think it’s great that India Film Project is doing this.
4. When you judge work of an aspiring writer/filmmaker, does it also take you back to your early days as a filmmaker?
Abhishek– It sure does. I mean you know because even when I had started out or when I was trying to write some things or you know or show my skills to people the only problem was that I could write in my computer but who am I going to show it to you know. The technique of filmmaking has become simpler now and you know you can use your smartphone and your laptop to actually make a film. But the basic grammar of filmmaking and the creative challenge of filmmaking remains the same, so technically and financially it has become easy but I think storytelling is an innate art form and it will be lovely to see young filmmakers try to show their skills. I am very much interested in seeing what kind of stories and what are subjects of their stories to understand what is that concerns them, what is it that bothers them to make a story on it
5. What do you think has most changed you in these years as a writer/director?
Abhishek– I have evolved in the films that I have not put in much more work you know in the last of couple of decades. And I Now know better what sort of ideas work on screen, I know the limitations of the media I know the limitations of the medium, I know my limitations as a filmmaker also, so it helps me, with the experience that I have gotten. If you were to ask me how different I am as a person I am sure I have aged you know, I was very young I mean early 20’s and early 40’s so obviously I mean what age brings with you that has happened, and essentially I’m the same person. enough to do something about it or make films about it.