Noida: World’s first 7-day Hybrid International Film Festival by educational institutions – CIFFI 2020, proceeded with Jury Interaction and two Panel Discussions, one on environmental films and another on Legendary Soumitra Chatterjee on December 19. This festival is being
organised by Delhi Metropolitan Education, Noida, India in association with School of Communications and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Australia.
On the fifth day of the mega film festival, 27 films including ‘Sanctioned’ and ‘Gandhiji Ka Sapna’ were screened on the official website of CIFFI 2020.
Interaction with Jury Members
The day opened with a Special Session with Jury of CIFFI2020, having an insightful Interaction. It was moderated by Dr Ambrish Saxena, Professor and Dean, DME Media School and Festival Director, CIFFI 2020. Ms Mudita Raj, Academic Associate, DME Media School, hosted the session.
The Jury members present during the session were Mr Ashok Purang, Founder-Director of Pierrot’s Troupe and Creative Producer of Hindi Feature film Filmistaan, Mr Nimish Kapoor, Head, Science Films Division, Vigyan Prasar, and Mr Pankaj Rakesh, Author and Photographer and Head of Production for Metalight Films, Mumbai.
Mr Purang talked about the work being done during the pandemic. He said, “During pandemic, our company has released three movies. I have also been part of many festivals.” He also emphasised on the need of systematical training of writing for films. “Crux of filmmaking is the script, which is sadly missing in curriculum, “he added.
He added that there is a boom of film festivals today. Talking about the benefit of such festivals, he stated, “People get exposed to different kind of films. Audience has also started demanding more.”
Mr Rakesh shared his filmmaking journey and the key experiences he gained. He spoke about the use of motion control in films, like ‘Wanted’ and ‘Love Aaj Kal’. On judging films, he said, “Creativity is subjective. What may feel attractive to the filmmaker may not be to the audience.” He further suggested, “The script is the key to filmmaking.”
Mr Kapoor added his take on science filmmaking. He said, “Lot of research goes into science. The filmmakers need to put maximum efforts into science research. Lot of work can be done in this sector.” Speaking on the scope of science filmmaking, he added, “Science is not just the domain of scientists. Everything like water, global warming and environment is a part of science.”
Dr Vikrant Kishore, Festival Director and Course Director-Film, Television & Animation, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Melbourne, expressed his appreciation for the effort behind CIFFI 2020. Adding a concluding remark to the session, he said, “Sometimes you need to look inwards in yourself and your family to find the stories.”
He also commented on the new and different films being produced. “There is need to move out of thinking cinema as only a narrative experience. There are lots of experimental films now”, he added.
Dr Saxena talked about the usefulness of film festivals in developing a film culture and educating and inspiring the budding filmmakers. He said that deliberations of issues of films through curated sessions and panel discussions give an insight to filmmakers and film lovers.
Dr Susmita Bala, Professor and Head, DME Media School and Festival Associate Director, CIFFI 2020 encouraged aspiring filmmakers by remarking, “If you work hard on your film project and have a good script in hand, nobody can stop you.”
Film making as a tool for Environment Communication
The second session of the day was a Panel Discussion on ‘Filmmaking as a tool for Environment Communication’ which was moderated by Mr Anand A Jha, Senior Manager-Coordination, Centre for Media Studies (CMS), and hosted by Mr Pramod Kumar Pandey, Assistant Professor, DME Media School.
Stating the importance of films on the environment, Dr Saxena commented, “There cannot be a more effective medium to communicate the importance of the environment.”
Mr Jalal Jeelani, Awarded Environmental Filmmaker, and Ms Aarti Shrivastava, an Award-winning documentary filmmaker, were the panellists for the session.
Snippets from the film by Ms Shrivastava, ‘White Knight’ were screened, following which she elaborated the idea behind the story and her experience of working on it. She spoke about the importance of films on environment. “Most people are not aware of the environmental challenges. We have to make sure that films on the environment are seen by the audience”, she remarked.
Talking about challenges of making environment films in Kashmir, Mr Jeelani said, “If you have the intent and knack to do what you want to do, there is always a place for you.” A small part of one of his films, ‘Saving the Saviour’ was also presented. He further shared his experience of working as a guerilla filmmaker, ideating, shooting and editing on his own.
Dr Bala shared her concluding thoughts about the session. She said, “We should think about nature and take care of it.”
Panel Discussion on Soumitra Chatterjee
A Panel Discussion on ‘Soumitra Chatterjee: An actor and beyond’ was the final session of the day. It was chaired by Ms Gayatri Chatterjee, scholar of film studies, former faculty of direction, FTII, Pune, and visiting faculty, Symbiosis, Pune and moderated by Ms Rukmini Sen, journalist, screenwriter and filmmaker trained at New York Film Academy.
Mr Ashish Singh, journalist, cinephile, founder and secretary general of New Delhi Film Foundation, Noida, was the Coordinator for this session. Ms Manmeet Kaur, Assistant Professor, DME Media School hosted the session along with co-host Shriya Singh, student of DME Media School.
The session saw panellists remember late Indian film actor, director, playwright, writer and poet, Soumitra Chatterjee.
Speaking about his biopic film on Soumitra Chatterjee, Mr Parambrata Chatterjee, Indian film actor and director commented, “Making something on somebody warrants deep knowledge of the person. As I got to know him better, I recognised that his hunger for art and creation is remarkable. He is probably the most complete artist.”
Mr Rangan Chakravarty, screenwriter and film director added his take on the discussion. He remarked, “In his life and his work, Soumitra stood out as a gentleman. Also, there was a kind of articulation in the way he used the Bengali language.”
Mr Subrata Sen, Indian film director, screenwriter, novelist and producer said, “A Bengali pronunciation is not necessary for successful films. The key is screen presence.”
Mr Nilendu Sen, creative director/content producer and writer, television and electronic media, pointed out the role of a director in bringing out the best from an actor. He further shared his experience of interviewing Soumitra Chatterjee. “He was brutally honest about where he stood in the scheme of things in Indian cinema”, he added.
Mr Amitaabh Srivastava, senior journalist and an expert on Indian films addressed his love for Bengali films. Stating his perception of Soumitra Chatterjee, he said, “The commitment to his art was remarkable.”
Ms Gayatri Chatterjee talked about Soumitra Chatterjee as a person, and went over his passion for work. Speaking about his roles as common man, she added, “While we discussion about the hero character in cinema, it is extremely important to look at the common man.”
Dr Ambrish Saxena said that film is a director’s medium. He picked up examples from the films of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak to substantiate his point. He said that a film should be seen in the context in which it has been made; the social settings and the period of a film is important. He pointed out the element of consistency in Soumitra Chatterjee as actor; with time he grew but his approach towards acting did not change.