Distributors, India, NEWS — 02/25/2012 12:30 AM

Exclusive screen for documentaries and short films in India (indiatimes.com)

Posted by

The Indian city Kolkata is poised to be the first in Asia to reserve a permanent screening venue for short films and documentaries.

Starting with award-winning ‘Wagah’ and ‘Bilal’, Nandan II-the 200-seater auditorium at the cultural hub – is all set to screen only non-feature films.

Though a formal decision is expected next week, Nandan chief executive officer Jadav Mondal and Roopkala Kendro director and chief executive Haranath Chakraborty confirmed the development.

Chakraborty said Nandan chairman Sandip Ray was instrumental behind the decision.  The idea cropped up during the 17th Kolkata International Film Festival when the trio witnessed a good turnout for documentaries and short films.

“We realized that an audience exists for non-feature films. But there was no scope to exhibit these films other than at festivals. Hence, we got working on dedicating a theatre to develop the culture of watching documentaries,” recounted Chakraborty.

According to sources, not only will the venue enable documentary and short filmmakers to release their works commercially, Nandan authorities may also allow sale of DVDs at the venue. Also, Nandan will support the directors by sharing part of the box office revenues.

Nandan I, the main theatre with nearly 1,000 seats, has regular shows of commercial feature films. But Nandan II is under-utilized with venue hired out to cine-clubs for screening.

Filmmakers are delighted at the prospect of an exclusive non-feature film theatre.

“A permanent address for short and documentary films means a lot to us because the kind of films we make is unlikely to be released in commercial theatres. Not only will we get a space to showcase our work, a section of audience who want to see such films will also have a venue. Till now, our films were viewed overseas but rarely seen by the audience at home,” said Sourav Sarangi, whose film “Bilal” has won numerous international awards.

He hopes the initiative is a long-term one and not cut short by authorities if some movies do not draw big audiences from the very beginning. Sarangi further suggests that Nandan authorities should try to develop Nandan II as an international venue for non-feature films.

“Nationally, there are filmmakers like Anand Patwardhan, Amar Kanwar, RV Ramani and Rakesh Sharma whose works should be showcased along with international filmmakers,” he added.

Supriyo Sen, whose latest film “Wagah” has won 32 international awards, including Berlin and Bilbao, said the move would go a great way in inculcating the culture of releasing documentary films in the country.

“In 2003, my documentary ‘Way Back Home on Partition of India’ was screened in Nandan II for two weeks. But the authorities did not persist with the initiative. Hopefully, it will be different this time,” he said.

Read full article

SOURCE: timesofindia.indiatimes.com (24/02/12)

Related posts:

Doc project from China / HK : "Three Gorges" the real story of the world's largest hydropo...
French director Jacques Perrin joins CCTV (China Daily)
In Amsterdam, Four Asian docs win awards at 24th IDFA
Tribeca Festival 2012 World Documentary Competition includes 3 films from or about Asia
A filmmaker's odyssey (China Daily)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.