Indo-Australian collaboration on films, Screening of Khanaur and portrayal of women in Indian cinema marked the sixth day of CIFFI 2021

The day witnessed one panel discussion, a special session and a workshop along with the screening of 82 films across musical and animation categories on the official website of CIFFI.

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Indo-Australian collaboration on films, Screening of Khanaur and portrayal of women in Indian cinema marked the sixth day of CIFFI 2021

Day-6 of world’s first Hybrid International Film Festival by educational institutions of two countries organized by DME Media School of Delhi Metropolitan Education, Noida, India in association with the School of Communications and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Australia, discussed and deliberated on international collaborations in cinema, film screening and interaction with the director of Khanaur and a workshop on Understanding the female perspective for budding filmmakers on December 20.

The day witnessed a one-panel discussion, a special session, and a workshop along with the screening of 82 films across musical and animation categories on the official website of CIFFI.

Also Read: Day 5 of CIFFI 2021 presented a bouquet of Documentary review of Geeta, Children’s cinema and opportunities in the VFX and gaming industry

Indo-Australian collaboration on films, Screening of Khanaur and portrayal of women in Indian cinema marked the sixth day of CIFFI 2021The first session was panel discussion on ‘Australia-India Film Relations: A Health Check?’ moderated by Julie Marlow, Film professional, writer and academician. The panel comprising Kartik Mohandas, Media Consultant, Australia, Nina Lath Gupta, CEO NFDC, AK Tareen, Advisor Australian government and Dr Vikrant Kishore, Festival Director, CIFFI 2021 and Course Director-Film, Television & Animation, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, discussed at length Australia-India collaboration in cinema and the challenges faced by the industry in each country.

While introducing the session, Dr Ambrish Saxena, Professor and Dean, DME Media School and Festival Director, CIFFI 2021 said that cinema defies boundaries. “OTT has destroyed all the traditional boundaries. There should be healthy exchange of cinema and creative ideas at the global level,” he said.

Initiating the discussion,  Julie Marlow, Film  professional,  writer and academician said that  the advantage with Australia as an international cinema destination was that it had less Covid cases and high rate of vaccinations which attracted offshore productions. “However independent and small scale producers found difficult to sail through,” she pointed out.

Indo-Australian collaboration on films, Screening of Khanaur and portrayal of women in Indian cinema marked the sixth day of CIFFI 2021Dr Vikrant Kishore, Festival Director, CIFFI 2021 pointed out that Australia is a favourite destination of students from South –Asian countries who come to study media.  “Yet at  the end of the day, they struggle hard for the right opportunities and breakthroughs. Same is the case with them in India. Australia needs to change its image from a  tourist destination to a  land of opportunities in cinema,” he said.

Nina Lath Gupta, CEO NFDC, while giving her perspective on the business of cinema, said that audience is changing and is not confined only to the indigenous platforms for entertainment. “Although the front end of distribution business is undergoing a phenomenal change, the back end business of production is confined to boundaries,” she said. “There is so little cross-border engagement at the back end film production level, “she added.

AK Tareen, Advisor Australian government spoke about a broader perspective involving trade and lasting collaborations between India and Australia.

Kartik Mohandas, Media Consultant, Australia, spoke about the marketing and distribution strategies of cinema in India and Australia. The distribution of Indian cinema in Australia and New Zealand have come off age. “We can expect a million-dollar business from these two countries. Regional cinema especially Punjabi language cinema is expected to  do phenomenally well in international markets,” he maintained.

Concluding the session, Dr Susmita Bala, Professor and Head, DME Media School and  Festival Associate Director, CIFFI 2021 said that cinema needs good content along with effective marketing and distribution strategy to reach wider audience.

Indo-Australian collaboration on films, Screening of Khanaur and portrayal of women in Indian cinema marked the sixth day of CIFFI 2021The panel discussion was followed by a special session on ‘Film screening of Khanaur (Bitter Chestnut) and interaction with the director’. The session was moderated by Manmeet Kaur, Assistant Professor, Media School, DME.

Welcoming the director Gurvinder Singh and introducing the session, Dr Ambrish Saxena, Festival Director, CIFFI 2021 said that the interaction with Gurvinder Singh will be very helpful for the cinema lovers as they will understand the nitty-gritty of the art of film making.

Speaking on the film Khanaur (Bitter Chestnut), Gurvinder Singh, award winning director of the film said that the film is on migration and was shot on the highlands of Himachal Pradesh. The actors are the people living in the village of Baragraan. “It is a merger of documentary with fiction using real life people as actors,” he explained.

The film Khanaur (Bitter Chestnut), was premiered at Busan International Film Festival and Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI) in 2019. It was also nominated for Kim Jiseok Award. The  film looks at the aspirations, fears, and insecurities of living in the present times, through the eyes of a young Kishan, as he yearns for the bitterness to eventually fade away from the fruit.

The session ended with the concluding remarks of Dr Susmita Bala,  Professor  and  Head, DME Media School and Festival Associate Director, CIFFI 2021 who said that the film is a perfect blend of human life, scenic beauty and perfect script. What more one can ask for?

Day six of CIFFI 2021 ended with a workshop on ‘Understanding the female perspective for budding filmmakers’ conducted by Aditya Seth, filmmaker, academician and consultant.

“Cinema is a reflection of society. The workshop aims at changing the perspective towards objectification of women,” pointed out Dr Ambrish Saxena, Festival Director, CIFFI 2021 while introducing the workshop.

Aditya Seth, filmmaker, academician and consultant said that women need to be realistically portrayed in the films. “Women as protagonists can’t be overlooked for long in  Indian cinema,” he said. There is a paradigm shift in the perception towards depiction of female characters in Indian cinema today,” he added.

“Women film makers should be encouraged and more women centric cinema should be created to change the patriarchal mindset,” Aditya Seth said.

Concluding the workshop, Dr Susmita Bala, Professor and Head, DME Media School and Festival Associate Director, CIFFI 2021 said that youth needs to be sensitised on the issues relating to women. Perception of women from being passive and submissive to expressive has to be looked at.

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Indo-Australian collaboration on films, Screening of Khanaur and portrayal of women in Indian cinema marked the sixth day of CIFFI 2021
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The day witnessed one panel discussion, a special session and a workshop along with the screening of 82 films across musical and animation categories on the official website of CIFFI.
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