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Documentary with a difference

To cater to a larger audience, a young filmmaker uploads his film on the Internet


Everybody seems to love documentaries if you go by the response to festivals featuring them.

And, there is a whole band of amateur filmmakers in Coimbatore. That should make a picture-perfect world, no?

No. The biggest problem plaguing amateur filmmakers and those specialising in short films is the lack of exhibition space. Barring a few societies and colleges, few auditoria permit the screening of these efforts.

That, in turn, effectively allows access only to a section of the public.

"Enduring all odds, the independent documentary maker goes out... with passion for the subject. Mostly un-funded or under funded, with begged and borrowed time and equipment, he/she somehow manages to document our real world and society's beauty and turmoil... ," says M. Venkatesan of the International Independent Film Makers Association (IIFMA).

If after all this effort, a work is not seen, what is the point? he asks. "Many an independent documentary film does not reach its audience and is forgotten. This not only results in a financial loss for the filmmaker but, most importantly, the loss of an independent voice," Venkatesan states.

Films on the Web

To get over this hassle, the IIFMA has embarked on a project to make documentaries for exclusive viewing on the Internet. "With increased Web connectivity and bandwidth, it is no longer difficult to see movies online.

That provided the spark for a documentary of this kind," says the young filmmaker.

His research documentary, Dhisai, on filmmaker Arun Mozhi, is the first to be uploaded on the website.

Part of a series on "Enduring creators", the 56-minute bilingual colour was shot on Digital Video (DV) and Mini-DV format. It features various award-winning film personalities, including director Hariharan, actor Charu Haasan and playwright Pralayan.


It also has footage from Arun Mozhi's feature films, documentaries, short films and critically acclaimed experimental films.

Not wanting to stop with just showing his works, Venkatesan, who runs the website, also plans to feature the works of other wannabe filmmakers.

All they have to do is send their movie to the IIFMA, which will host it on the website free of cost (up to 45 minutes length and 250 MB).

But, if the movie size is very big, the filmmaker has to make up the remaining amount by getting a sponsor or pay a nominal amount to the IIFMA for hosting it.

If content producers do not want to show their movie for free, they can have viewers pay for seeing their creation.

The fee for this will be decided jointly with the IIFMA.

For details, visit iifma.com, e-mail venkatesan@iifma.com or call 98422-77124.

SUBHA J RAO

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