Short Films in India as moral lessons

What is it like to live in a city with such a high population density as Mumbai?

It is sometimes confusing, exhausting and euphoric to be in a city with bustling energy of so many people. Bombay is like a lover you want to hate but it is so charming that you cannot. No matter how much I hate the city for it’s traffic and crowd during the day; I love the melancholy it offers during the night.

How would you describe the current situation for young filmmakers in India?
Young filmmakers in India definitely have an advantage because of the digital landscape. However there isn’t a strong short film viewing culture in India or support for Indie films. So there is still difficulty in getting funding for Indie films. There are definitely incredible young filmmakers who are breaking the rut and getting their films the appreciation of film festivals on International platform. However these filmmakers may not be popular “mainstream” names who can pull funds.

«It would be nice if there is encouragement to break free from "formula" films.»

Are young filmmakers supported in India?

The young filmmakers aren’t supported. Often it becomes more about lobbying and getting into the right circuit. There are young filmmakers that I look upto whose films create waves at the film festival circuit but they do not get enough coverage that they deserve. It would be nice if there is funding for youngsters and encouragement to break free from “formula” films.

Is it difficult to become self-employed as a filmmaker in India?
I think it really depends on the mind of filmmaker one wants to be. If a filmmaker wants to stick to his/her independent voice and not make a film to grab eyeballs, views (this sells kind of films) then it might be difficult to get takers easily for it. There are really brave filmmakers who are definitely making films that they want but it might not be fetching them a lot of money for sure as compared to the mainstream films backed by strong producers.
What are the reasons?

As someone who produced her own two short films; it took me debts to realize that I need to find producer for my third short film. But without those two short films nobody would have financed the third one because I was a complete clean slate. I know of young filmmakers who knew exactly how to sell their short films unlike me. So i guess it is about trial and error. I also think that the digital platform has made it easier now for the filmmakers. I am still learning my way.

Stills from the Short Film Photograph

How keen is the public's interest in short films made by young filmmakers?

«The public in India for some reason look at Short films as a moral lesson class.»

They tend to look for message in the film. The trend for popular faces or sexual content is annoying. They aren’t very keen on watching something with silences or non filmy/dramatic. Often there are good short films that tend to break the clutter but they do not necessarily have good views online. There is a very niche audience who want to watch this or maybe it is so scattered that even if audience wants to change they do not know where to look for good content.

What do you think should be changed to make it easier for filmmakers in India?

I think there needs to be encouragement for young filmmakers who are looking for finance. It would be interesting to have more filmmaking grants in India and an organized system.

Your short film "Half Plate" is about a woman sharing a meal with an eating partner. What made you decide to make a film about the life of a lonely introverted woman? Is isolation a big issue in a big city like Mumbai?

Intimacy has always been an intriguing concept for me and it is heartbreaking to watch people in cities find ways to look for technology now as a companion while eating. The idea of sharing a meal with someone is such a strong intimate process of feeling aware and complete in the present moment. One day when I was away from home in England for studies; I remember my laptop was broken and I had nothing to distract myself. I was eating a meal by myself in my apartment in a metropolitan city late in the night. It hit me at that time how the ritual of eating was intimate and fulfilling for me. So writing this story was extremely personal.

Watch Emeara's short films Half Plate and Photograph
Emeara did Belgrade theatre in England as an actor in several plays. She is a professional voice actor who has worked on several cartoons for Disney xd and animated films. Her films Half Plate and Photographs are official selections of Retrospective of Jupiter.

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