Kolkata, Feb. 26 -- It's usually a Friday that decides the fate of full-length feature filmmakers. But now Monday promises to unravel the fortunes of budding talents from the city. It may somewhat lack the pomp and glamour of a regular film opening, but 'Monday Premiere' (MP) more than makes up for it - it offers a stomping ground for upcoming indie filmmakers and boosts Kolkata's reputation as a place for independent filmmaking, at once.
And for students and amateur filmmakers wanting to impress, find publicity and maybe even a following to further their dream of setting the box office alight, but on an empty pocket, MP, is nothing short of a magnet.
Gautami Hazra, 3rd year mass communication and videography (MCV) student from St. Xavier's College (SXC) feels the charm of MP lies in how it throws artists, filmmakers and avid film-goers, all eager to witness what's new in the independent cinema circuit, together.
"The idea is to give an alternative platform to generation-next filmmakers. But instead of theatres, we are using pop-up clubs for an informal and intimate settings where filmmakers and their teams can chat over a couple of drinks," says Hazra, who is associated with Large Short Films (LSF), which brings the phenomenon to Kolkata after running eight editions in Mumbai.
"This will be a monthly event where four short films by budding filmmakers will be shown with an award-winning one by a seasoned filmmaker," she adds.
With over 2, 25,000 fans on facebook and the backing of seasoned directors, including Anurag Kashyap, MP has created quite a stir online. And it recently made its debut here on February 18 at XOXO lounge in Salt Lake with Sudhir Mishra's short film Kirchiyaan, starring Chitrangada Singh and four short films made by fresh directors, including Presidency College pass out Prithwish Barman, who showed his short film Nischinno.
But dominating the show at the first emotionally packed MP was Farhan Imroze, 20, whose life-long dream has been to wear the director's cap.
With dozens of movie projects in his portfolio, the 3rd year MCV student from SXC, who also happens to play the lead in a Bengali mega-serial, was ready to take on Tollywood, Bollywood and someday even Hollywood.
What he wasn't ready for though, was to discover that despite the cool images indie films invoke- downright rebellious, gripping, gritty, unfiltered cigarette-guitar kinds- it isn't easy to sell one.
"There is nothing better than making a film. Oh wait, there is. It's finding an audience that values your work and shows interest. Thanks to MP we now have an audience," says Imroze, whose 15-minute docu-film, Prem (PDA) set the audience on fire, in a good way, at the recent MP. (It's not as risque as the name may suggest.)
For independent filmmaker and artist Souman Bose, MP means not only a refreshing change from the plasticity of commercial cinema to enigmatic newage cinema, but also gives homegrown filmmakers fresh hope.
"Many youngsters are making impressive films that don't always get noticed due to lack of resources. I hope to make the most of this opportunity and learn a thing or two from some seasoned directors," says the 3rdyear BSc student from Techno India.
Bose has shown his short films and documentaries at festivals in Paris among other cities and hopes to show one at MP soon.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.