While discussing various issues pertaining to filmmaking at the panel discussion titled ‘Young Filmmakers of India: Emerging Voices and Narratives’ at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), the panellists agreed that it was important for film and filmmakers to get criticism for their work to help them improve.
The panel consisted of emerging directors like Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, R S Prasanna, Bhaskar Hazarika, Karthik Subbaraj and Raja Krishna Menon.
Moderator and director who made her debut by directing the comedy drama ‘Nil Battey Sannata’, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari said that criticism for the film should be done in a healthy manner. “It is important to have people criticising the film as it will help one to identify the mistakes and other points to improve on in the future. But it is also important for film critics to know the art of writing good criticisms. In recent time critical writing has not been done in responsible manner and that needs to be looked into,” added Tiwari.
Also, director of the ‘Airlift’ and ‘Chef’, Raja Krishna Menon elaborated upon why criticism should not be opinionated. He said: “Many a times critics go out of their way and end up wanting to see what they want to see in the film that totally changes the whole meaning of the film.” Giving an example of the same, Menon said: “My movie ‘Chef’ had several judgements of merits and faults but at a point there were people who were like ‘I want to see this kind of food’ and ‘this kind of ending for the film’ which was is not necessarily required. Criticism is pointing out an instance that needs to be improved upon.” To which director, Bhaskar Hazarika, whose directorial debut ‘Kothanodi’ won the award for Best Assamese Feature Film said: “Every art form has criticism and the only thing is how we take it and deal with it. Rather than thinking why he or she said that for my work.”
In an era where new filmmakers are been tagged with labels depending upon the kind of work they do, the panellist focused upon how it’s the story that speaks more for their work. “Once you start making films no one’s cares about it but they talk about how much money the film has made. It is indeed a conscious responsibility of filmmakers to give good cinema but there is nothing wrong in making a kind of film again and again,” said Menon. Tiwari also added that the expectations for a particular type of film can kill a film.
Remake, adaptation and subtitles help films to travel to other parts of the globe. Giving his input on the same, Hazarika said that subtitles work because if people in India watch Korean films, they can also watch a Manipuri film with help of subtitles. “Filmmakers need to be conscious not to include very dialogue-heavy films, because we can’t make people read all the time. We need to try to do films which have less dialogues but the scene explains a lot.”