Content is King
In 2011, Mikhil Musale led a team that made the short film Another Brick in the Wall. It won them the award for Best Cinematography at the inaugural edition of the India Film Project (IFP). Cut to seven years later, and Musale, the creative director of CineMan Productions, is now a recognised name. Last year, he won a National Award, and is now working on his Bollywood directorial debut. Musale was already making films then, but the contest proved propitious. “Winning the Filmmaking Challenge gave me that extra encouragement and motivation to make more films,” he says.
It’s exactly what IFP started out to do. Launched in 2011, its aim was to provide amateur filmmakers a stage on which to practise their craft and showcase it to the world. Over the years, it has evolved into a festival dedicated to building a community of content creators. “We have a 360-degree approach to cinema.
Since films are a form of creation, we expanded our scope last year to a festival that talks about the process of creation,” says founder Ritam Bhatnagar.
Slated for October 13-14 at NSC, Worli in Mumbai, IFP’s eighth season will feature discussions with content creators—YouTuber Bhuvan Bam on the future of comedy, author Ashwin Sanghi on how to tell Indian stories and screenplay writer Juhi Chaturvedi on breaking through a male-dominated industry. There will also be workshops on how to cut a trailer, read legal contracts and shoot on a phone, as well as networking opportunities for actors, writers, composers, directors and graphic designers.
The biggest draw, though, remains the 50-hour filmmaking challenge. Former jury member, filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane has been associated with IFP from its inception. “Such filmmaking contests are helpful because the real world never allows you ideal conditions. So to be able to make films within a deadline and under pressure is great training,” he says.