New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) Digital is the way to go, believes Madhureeta Anand, filmmaker and director of an annual digital movie festival, and says the format is a cheaper medium and can open up the Indian cinema market to moviemaking enthusiasts even outside the industry.
'The new filmmakers need a cheap format and digital will give that to them. So literally every one can express oneself and make a film. And so digital can and should signal the end of the need for a 'mentor' or being from the 'industry' to make a film,' Madhureeta told IANS in an interview.
A Delhiite and a single mother, Madhureeta has had no godfather in the Hindi film world. She made her way in the highly competitive industry with documentaries. Her first full-length feature film was 'Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye', which released in 2009.
She has also promoted innovative digital filmmaking through her annual movie extravaganza - the UFO 0110 International Digital Film Festival, the third edition of which will be held here during Feb 23-March 1, 2012.
'Digital is no longer the format of future, it is actually the present. Everything is converging there. Even if you shoot on a non-digital format, you would necessarily need to make a certain amount of digital prints to release the film.
'And with projection and exhibition going the digital way, it is only a matter of time before the whole process becomes digital. So really digital is here,' said the self-made Madhureeta, who took formal training at New Delhi's Jamia University.
'The risk takers, innovators, tend to choose digital. This could be for two reasons - budget and/or flexibility. This is what really interests me about digital,' Madhureeta added.
Madhureeta promises the digital film festival will get 'bigger and better' now, with more innovative sections, aimed at giving a chance to new and young filmmakers.
'Sometimes the best stories come from people who have no awareness of the filmmaking process or the gigantic nature of the business. This naivete or freshness is what we will be looking for (through the film festival).
'Basically the UFO 0110 International Digital Film Festival will be a carnival of digital filmmaking and a place where we hope everyone can have their say - creatively that is!
'In that sense it wont be like a usual film festival. There will be lots of activity aimed at bringing in fresh and new content. Stuff that is really excellent,' she said.
Madhureeta, who is working on her next directorial venture 'Kajarya', says though Indian filmmakers talk about going global, they have a long way to go.
'I would like to refute the premise that Indian cinema is going global. It's not. We're a self-sustained industry that doesn't really need the nod of international audiences to make money or sustain itself.
'Like Quentin Tarantino said, there are only three film industries in the world - Hollywood, India and China. But unlike the other two, we simply do not cross over internationally.
'Yet there is a large audience around the world who are not necessarily NRIs who would love to see new cinema from India. But there is none coming. This is a gaping hole,' she said.
Madhureeta feels the digital film festival will bridge the gap.
'At the moment India is being seen as the hub of new possibilities. However, we do not yet have a forum where the new wave in films can find its full play. Our festival intends to be just that.
'As people flock to the halls, it could demonstrate that the audience in India is changing and is more discerning than they have been given credit for,' she added.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at [email protected])