‘SiGNS , a platform to reveal the other side of cinema’: Directors

Kochi, September 29:  SiGNS short film and documentary festival has become a platform where aspiring film students get to know about alternate visual possibilities, affirmed directors who participated in an interactive session at SiGNS 2016 with the delegates at Ernakulam Town Hall.

The interactive session saw constructive discussions where directors whose movies were screened at SiGNS 2016, shared their filming experience with delegates. Ruchi Srivastava and Sumit Khanna, creators of the documentary ‘The man who dwarfed the mountains’, Gireesh Kumar, maker of ‘Randu Kurippukal’, Farooq Abdul Rahiman, director of documentary ‘Isalil Kanal Thottiya Kavi’ and Vishal Jejurkar, director of  short film ‘Scratch’ participated in the first ‘Interaction with the Directors’ session of SiGNS 2016.

“With the excess of commercial cinema and the money goes into its marketing, our younger generation is devoid of exposure towards alternate cinema, and with festival like SiGNS they will be able to understand the other kind of visual possibilities and decide what to choose,” said Sumit Khanna. The director also shared his experience on the difficulties faced while making his documentary about Chandi Prasad Bhatt, one of the pioneers of Chipko movement. “It was a humbling experience to meet a man who never wanted to talk about himself or his works,” said Sumit on Bhatt.

Farook Abdul Rahiman’s ‘Isalil Kanal Thottiya Kavi’, a documentary under competition section about the forgotten poet Moyinkutty Vaidyar , explained why his documentary is relevant at present times. “There is not even a photograph of Moyinkutty, as if like a planned burial of a phase from Malabar’s history and the political situation prevailed that prompted the poet’s work,” said Farook.

Gireesh Kumar K, director of ‘Randukurippukal’, expressed his views on film viewing. ‘I don’t believe in spaces to screen my films, but instead in creating an atmosphere where people can enjoy films individually, decoding movies in their own ways,” said the director whose short film is in the competition section.

When asked about the possibilities for getting wider reach for alternative cinema, all the directors stood for the role of film societies. “Film societies should rejuvenate their efforts to increase the reach of independent cinema,” said Farook Abdul Rahiman. “Earlier Doordarshan had slots to show documentaries, but now that slot is only for documentaries made by PRD,” he added.

An opinion to better the use of digital platforms like social media and online portals for the wider reach of independent movies was also raised during the discussion.

Film society member Shri Shaji Joseph moderated the session. SiGNS shortfilm and documentary festival will run till October 2nd at Ernakulam Town hall.

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