Chasing the dream of documentaries

Film Frenzy

Hailing from a modest background, Rohin R Nair is a passionate short documentary filmmaker who seeks to explore the audiovisual forms of cinema while keeping it enthralling and meaningful. At the young age of 23, he has directed five short films; two short documentaries and a feature-length documentary till now.

Contrary to his initial individual ambition of being a cricketer and his father’s desire to see him as an IAS officer, Nair found his passion in filmmaking after watching the Bollywood cult film Rang De Basanti. He has never looked back since.

To pursue his dreams he joined film appreciation workshop of the legendary P K Nair, former chairman of National Film Archives of India followed by filmmaking workshops under FTII alumni, Kavita Joshi and Mahesh Thothathil in Delhi which further firmed his love for filmmaking.

Apart from being a director of five short documentary films, Nair has cinematographed in a feature length documentary Martyrs of Marriage, Another documentary shot by him titled, Raapan is currently in post-production (directed by Sandip Mane) and being primarily made for the short film contest organised by 13th Pune International Film
Festival, 2015.

Says Nair, “I firmly believe that my films ought to have a certain depth. When one is a young filmmaker there is a definite lack of life experience and a lack of worldview which gets reflected in the film. But a young age also brings out fresh voices to the fore. Also, exciting experiments with the form are being undertaken by the young filmmakers.”

The hurdles one face during a filmmaking process has a major impact on the entire production. Nair says, “Often completing a film isn't the difficult part. After I finished Little Hands and got some positive responses from people I respect, I had to wade through the world of submitting one's film to festivals, filtering the relevant ones and discovering that this submission process is not pocket-friendly. A short filmmaker hardly makes any revenue unless it wins at festivals.”

Lack of budget and apt actors for the script always hinders the production, but all this can be overcome with determination, he believes. Having an optimistic outlook, despite low popularity of his genre of short documentary filmmaking, Nair thinks that India does have a good appetite for short films which is clearly seen from the number of views garnered by many short films, as well as due to the explosion of so many nascent film festivals in India.

He says, “Often short films serve only as calling card for a filmmaker through which they might be able to assist a successful filmmaker. But budding filmmakers should totally embrace short films, as it provides a great training ground to explore filmmaking and one can find one's own unique voice in
the process.”

Nair looks up to the Malayalam films from 80’s and cinema bigwig like P Padmarajan for inspiration. “I also wish to encourage young filmmakers and particularly the genre of short filmmaking.” Family and his partner being his strength through thick and thin, has served as a constant support in his endeavours.

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