New comers in The Indian film industry have just one question”What about us?”

Of the 1000 or so commercial movies that are made in India each, year, nearly 300 are independent movies. As impressive as that number is, the fact is indie Indian movies don’t get funded in their motherland. They have to go all the way to the European, African and other countries to receive investments.

“There is no support system from India, for any documentary or independent films,” says Sourav Sarangi, an independent documentary film maker from Kolkata. “It’s really disheartening to know that there might be a potential audience willing to watch my movie, but, I don’t have the outlet to show it in my country. But that doesn’t mean that we stop making movies. You reach and get you support system.” He was speaking …. On 11th December 2012, 9th Dubai International Film Festival held a panel discussion for ‘New Indian film realities’, along with Ashim Alluwalia, an independent film maker from Bombay, and Rajkumar Yadav, an emerging actor from Bollywood. According to Ashim, new directors from India have to do a Saalam Mumbai film in order to receive funding from the Indian government. And when you go to countries like the USA, to try and receive funding from abroad, we have to face prejudices, hence making the procedure more difficult and time consuming, he says.

“Not only do independent films not get funded, but producers don’t put money in a film if the actor is not a star.” Says Rajkumar Yadav. Today if a director wants to make a film he doesn’t approach the studios but signs a contract with a superstar or a producer and only then the shooting starts, comments Mr. Sarangi. There are so many big budget movies made every month in India which turn out to be total failures, even if it has a star acting in it, but when it comes to the small budget films how come the government become so stingy and selfish… says Ashim… After all we are also a part of the country right?

India is hub of talent who get undermined due to lack of proper resources or necessary motivation. The Indian audience doesn’t mind watching new sorts of movies and films, but they are not given the proper channel to watch them and make decision what they like. Instead they are treated to mainstream Yash Chopra romances and the stereotypical Indian movies where the actors start dancing for no apparent reason.

But the good news is that there is evidence of a renaissance happening. Alluwalia talked about the new kind of films and film makers emerging from India, and how these film makers and their films break the traditional grounds of film making in Bollywood, giving the audience worldwide a different and a brand new perspective to Indian cinema.

-Srijita Chattopadhyay

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