Give Funds for Newcomers: Sathyu

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 9: It was a coming  together of the old and the new as M S Sathyu and Sanalkumar Sasidharan spoke about passion for cinema and funding at the International Film Festival of Kerala’s (IFFK) ‘Meet the Director’ programme at Tagore theatre today.

While Sathyu received Film Finance Corporation—now National Film Development Corporation (NFDC)—funding for his debut film Garam Hawa (1973), which is showing in the IFFK’s Indian Classics segment, he felt that it was unfortunate that the corporation now does not fund films, unless it has a good chance of making a profit.

“This is a wrong policy, because the idea is to develop an industry,” said the 85-year-old director. “We need to create a corpus fund that can be used by upcoming filmmakers.”

Sanalkumar never let money thwart his deep desire to make films and take it to people. “I don’t believe in government subsidies and I don’t believe in the market,” said the director, whose Ozhuvidivasathe Kali is showing at the festival. “I don’t know what the crisis in Malayalam filmmaking that everybody talks of is about. In the new age of digital filmmaking, you can make films with the smallest budget.”

Sanalkumar is as good as his word: his debut flick Oraalpokkam, which spanned locales from Kerala to Kedarnath, was the first crowd-funded Malayalam film made with Rs 25 lakh. His Ozhuvidivasathe Kali was shot on a Rs 10-lakh budget. He then got a cab and a projector and screened the film at 100 different locations in Kerala.

“A new crop of filmmakers are shattering the notion that you need an actor or a story acceptable to satellite to make films,” said producer Prakash Bare. “There is the space and audience for small, meaningful films. Mainstream films  should not be imposed on everybody.”  


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