Going tough, but indie films defy constraints

Going tough, but indie films defy constraints

Independent films are about saying what you want, which is great, but getting money to make them is not easy. Bengaluru has its share of passionate indie filmmakers who have stood their ground to tell their stories. But taking such films to the audiences, even in the Internet era, is easier said than done.

"Indie films are not taken seriously," says Arvind Shastry, director of the brooding Kannada film 'Kahi', which saw a theatre release and is now on Netflix. He says the challenge begins even before a production is launched. "Our subjects are usually offbeat and to find even a small amount is difficult. At every stage, we face hurdles," he says.

Looking back, he feels 'Kahi,' with four strong women characters, was not just a challenge but also a rewarding journey.

"Most of the time, there is the pre-conceived notion that indie films are not for certain audiences. But then, any story that is well-told is bound to be liked by all kinds of audiences," he says.

He sees hope though. "I feel things are different from what they were 15 years ago. Now you can at least put indie films on YouTube," observes Shastry. He thinks this is a great time to make non-mainstream films in Kannada.

Saad Khan, best known for his Kannada satire 'Humble Politiciann Nograj,' also ran into finance problems. His earlier film 'Station' was funded by friends, acquaintances and strangers who came on board after random conversations.

"People didn't know why they were helping you and what they were getting out of it. It's difficult to find such generous people now," he says.

Film-making, he says, are made to offer a great theatre experience. 'Black Panther' and 'Jumanji' were made with that in mind, he says.

"When you set out to make an indie film, you are there not for the money but because you are passionate about the medium. When I was making 'Station', many students were part of my crew," he recalls.

'Station' was shot over a month and a half, and the students worked with him all through the project.

"Now, there aren't many with that kind of commitment. The young want quick benefits,'' he says.

He says the audiences want films that entertain, engage and stimulate. Humble Politiciann Nograj is now on Amazon Prime Video.

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