Experts who have gathered at the 3rd edition of the Guwahati International Film festival (GIFF) have opined that independent filmmakers should stick together to form a common platform so that it can survive and continue making films which actually reflects the real issues and realities of life.

Film producer and philanthropist Jani Viswanathan, who have stepped in to produce two Assamese language films in the last few years, said that supporting independent films is very important.

“When a film is about stars…unfortunately the substance is completely overshadowed and that is not what we are here for. We are not here to promote a particular face or brand. We are here to talk about the issues that are relevant to the society. And for that the independent film fraternity has to stick together. They have to form a sort of community and they make sure that their films are heard and their films are marketed outside,” Viswanathan said while taking part in the open forum on November 4.

She has co-produced Xhoixobote Dhemalite (Rainbow Fields), an Assamese language film directed by Bidyut Kotoky and Jwlwi – The Seed, a Bodo language film by Rajni Basumatary recently.

“Today, it’s about films with substance. It doesn’t matter if it’s from north of India or south or anywhere or even from China. But what matters is that it has to be good product. And if you don’t get government support, you need to build a community that can support you,” Viswanathan added.

The discussion, ‘Marketing Indie films: From Regional to International Co-production’, also saw participation of National Award winning filmmaker Rima Das, Rajni Basumatary, national award winning Garo film ‘Ma’ama’s producer Xu Jianshang and Anupama Bose, India head of an online movie streaming platform, among others.

Viswanathan further said that to bridge the gap between the independent filmmakers and the marketing platforms is very important.

“It doesn’t matter how much money that you put in the movie but the substance is important. It’s also important to expose it to the right forum. And thankfully the festivals are the window to the real films. We also need to use the social media and the youth to reach out,” she added.

Rima Das, whose ‘Bulbul Can Sing’ was screened at the festival on Monday, felt that this is the high time for the independent filmmakers to reach out to the proper channel to get the finance and marketing because of the strong social media and other similar platforms.

Sangeet Natak Akademi Award-winning actor Mohan Agashe who was also present on the occasion hinted at the need of sensitizing film marketers, who he said are ‘business-minded’.

“The marketing of films, however, lies with businessmen. They may not be so sensitive about movies. So, there is a need to make them understand that money is not the bottom line always,” he said.

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