FCCI panel in association with Screen Writers Association at Kaleidoscope 2017
Sophia College's annual cultural festival. Theme of this year's edition: Show Time. Topic of the FCCI-SWA panel discussion: Films—Then & Now.
Bikas Mishra: What is key to cinema, and what makes cinema immortal is that cinema is a communal experience. You can watch a film at your home, but nothing matches the experience of walking into your neighborhood theater, sitting with some 400 people, most of them total strangers, and, you know, laughing together, singing together, and maybe crying together in complete darkness.
Manisha Korde: The focus of Hindi films has moved from the social towards the individual. Films of yore, though they spoke about individual women, dealt with larger social issues. Today’s films touch on social issues too, but more importantly, and to the contrary, they deal with the individual as a character.
Avinash Das: The cinema of Hindi has opened up and become more realistic. Directors today are addressing issues while experimenting with forms of expression.
On the dais, film critics Dalton L and Bikas Mishra, dialogue- and script-writer Manisha Korde, and writer-director Avinash Das.
FCCI panel at ALIIFF 2016
Every audience has a perception of what they want to see. A few people writing in a newspaper or speaking in a TV channel do not have the right to decide what the audience should or not see.
Ratnottama Sengupta, film critic: The fate of a film is not decided on one weekend. If that were so, Pather Panchali would not have been the biggest earner for a government-funded film. 40 years on, Ray's film still continues to run, still continues to earn, and still continues to teach.
Baradwaj Rangan, film critic: Social media has taken away the aspect of word-of-mouth and has kind of separated it from film criticism, which is, I think, the best thing that has ever happened, because, far too often, people mistake film criticism from something that should tell them whether or not they should go watch a film.
Mayank Shekhar, film critic: As Baradwaj pointed out, film criticism has various approaches - historical, social... The journalistic approach has traditionally been about newly-released films. The reader basically just wants to know if the reviewer at the end of the day liked the film or not.
Film reviewers' work start on Friday. But social media has the ability to impact the trend with which people book tickets for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and perhaps, thereafter.
See, buyers wait for the film to release. Once the first show is done, they wait for the reviews to come, and only after that, they buy. So why don't you review after a week's time? This would allow space for producers to do business.
FCCI panel at HBFF 2016: What makes for a film's success: money, talent or networking?
Amit Ranjan Biswas: "Money and networking is important, but we must first create something that moves the soul. Cinema has the capacity to take us beyond what we can be."
Debesh Chatterjee "If you are honest to your subject, that is the main key of success."
Ratnottama Sengupta: "I am told that the budget for marketing the film these days is as much as for the making."
Judhajit Sarkar: "The number of films has increased but the number of screening space has decreased. Somewhere the infrastructure is failing us very badly. We are getting absolutely squeezed out of the game".
Madhu Eravankara: "Talent is no guarantee for success today. Bad films are being made successful either through networking or through money push or through some other means."
Elahe Hiptoola: "What makes a successful film? I wish we all knew. Then, we'd all do the same thing. But we don't know. All this is always in hind sight. We really don't know who is coming out to flex their box office muscle. We hope it's a middle class because that is the largest number in the country."
Satish Kasetty: "You have to gather your audiences to come watch your film in the very first week. Then, you survive. If not, you're finished."
FCCI panel at IFFI 2014: Have newspapers replaced literature in cinema?
On the dais:
Dalton L (film critic), Siladitya Sen (film critic), Sudeshna Roy (filmmaker), Ratnottama Sengupta (film critic-curator), Madhu Eravankara (Malayalam film scholar), and Bhupendra Kainthola (director of FTII)
"Most major awards today for Best Screenplay have two categories. One, for original screenplay. And the other, for adapted screenplay".
"Book authors often object to any deviation, although filmmakers have to tailor the content for a 90 to 100 minute production with a limited budget. Additionally, there is the fear too of a last minute court case. These are some of the reasons why filmmakers prefer original scripts"
"News stories are hot topics of disussion on TV channels. So, when a film is made, say, about a rape victim (8.08er Bonga Local) or a famous missing person (Shaji Karun's Piravi), more people would know about it than if a film is made from a Tagore and Saratchandra novel".
"Literature and cinema are two entirely different art forms. The filmmaker, if he decides to use literature as source material, can then translate it into the language of cinema. But only a person who knows the difference between the two media can make a good film from literature".
Members of the Press
Members of the Press
FCCI panel at IFFI 2014: “Does technology kill good cinema and sensitivity?
On the dais:
Dalton L, MK Raghavendra, Rashmi Doraiswami, and Ashok Rane
M K Raghavendra:
"Kubrick’s futuristic masterpiece '2001: A Space Odyssey' was made in 1968. In the last forty-six years nobody has made a film with a similarly profound influence on how we think, despite the revolutionary changes in technology. Emotions do not need fresh technology, and some stories are never remade".
"Films today are shot and edited non-linearly; even a piece of music is recorded non-continuously, with stops between each line of singing. Original is no more relevant in this synthetic culture of packaged entertainment. Reality and technology both are fragmented to today’s connected generation, influencing each other".
"In an industry where the producers want to use magic technologies without even thinking about story, plot or characters, technology is doing more harm than benefit. There is a growing tendency where even low budget films try to use chroma and multi-point tracking, most of the time in pathetic ways".
Members of the Press
Members of the Press
Film critic /cinematography teacher, Anirban Lahiri, takes notes
FCCI film appreciation camp at Sacred Hearts college – Cochin, June 2013
Filmmaker Hari Kumar lights the sacred lamp. Also in the pic: Father Prashant (the college principal) and Madhu Eravankara (film critic)
Filmmaker Kamal, chief guest at the closing ceremony
Madhu Eravanakara, film critic, and camp course director/chief faculty
On the dais:
film critic Dalton L, filmmaker Kamal, and film critic Madhu Eravankara
Film critic I Shanmukhadas takes class
Scriptwriter John Paul takes class
Filmmaker VK Prakash takes class
Subhash Ghai, speaking at the Film Critics Circle of India AGM, 2013
You are in a highly responsible profession. You have the responsibility to look into the growth of civilization and of the next generation. We filmmakers look upon you as God. So guide us in your reviews, tell us where we lack, and how we can improve. But do not mock us. Creative people are extra sensitive, so talk like a mother, not like an opponent.
We will unite for the right cause - a more meaningful appreciation of the great art form called Cinema.
–GP Ramachandran, Kerala.
I found it a very nice idea to have some sort of a forum for interaction among film critics. I wonder why there was not such an attempt much earlier. And would like to be associated with an organised body of film critics, if only to keep me abreast of meaningful and socially relevant films around
–Apurba Sarma, Assam.
The organisation should associate, initially, with one major film festival and do a Critics Week programme, where the complete programming will be done by the organisation as per a concept mandated by the organisation. Such a programme should promote completely independent thoughts in filmmaking that push the envelope as far as the medium is concerned, and could include both fiction and non-fiction genres.
–Saibal Chatterjee, Delhi.
I think we must exchange our reactions and responses to films—particularly in the regional languages—with the other members, on a weekly basis. For example, a member in Kolkata writes about what is exciting from Tollygunge; someone from Mumbai writes about a Marathi film; and the other centres write about their respective films. If there is a trend or something related to cinema that is objectionable, we could write about that too. It will provide us a better understanding of what's happening in the country as far as the medium is concerned.
–Ratnottama Sengupta, Kolkota.
What India needs is a deep initiative of film appreciation - just as school kids get engaged in arts, crafts, sports. That sense of appreciation will go a long way for audience to demand opportunities to watch good classic films.
–Aseem Chhabra, New York.
A national body would be ideal provided it concerns itself with exchange of ideas and refreshing understanding of cinema as an art form.
–Johnson Thomas, Mumbai.
It is a great idea, but it will have to include critics from all over the country, with chapters in at least all film-producing states to make it really meaningful and effective. It should never be metro-centric, which usually tends to happen with such bodies. The body should seek affiliation to all prestigious international bodies, including the FIPRESCI (through its India chapter). And once it is formed, the information should be widely disseminated through media so that film critics across the country become aware about its existence and come forward to join it.
–Utpal Borpujari, Delhi.
Here is a list of practitioners who wrote 'theory' books on cinema:
1) Sergei Eisenstein
2) Jean Epstein
3) Marcel L'Herbier
4) Germaine Dulac
5) Vselovod Pudovkin
6) Pier-Paolo Pasolini
7) Pascal Bonitzer
Film-makers who started out by writing in journals:
1) Jean-Luc Godard
2) Michelangelo Antonioni
3) Glauber Rocha
4) Elio Petri
5) Francois Truffaut
6) Eric Rohmer
7) Claude Chabrol
8) Jacques Rivette
9) Luc Moullet
10) Olivier Assayas
11) Pascal Bonitzer
There is no such split in other art disciplines such as fine art, architecture, & theatre. It is only in cinema that one witnesses this split. And film criticism is most evident in the edit of a film where you are fine tuning the image by precisely being critical of it.
Film Critics meeting - 2010
(L-R) Dalton L, Narahari Rao, Utpal Borpujari, Saibal Chatterjee, VK Joseph, GP Ramachandran, Ziya Us Salam, and NK Raghavendra