What I’m about to write is probably going to sound immature to you, and you’re probably right.
Today I’m going to talk about something that is very personal to me. Films. Specifically, short films. I started making short films around mid 2014 and have been going strong since (Check them out at http://www.facebook.com/pol.inc.films). What I like about this form is the democracy that it boasts of. I don’t need any producers, distributors or even a professional crew. All it needs is a half decent camera and some willing friends who’ll help you out. I can put it up on the internet and watch it either get praised or panned. I’ve been on both sides of that spectrum.
In the past one year, a lot of big time Bollywood players have entered this circuit. And not just through short films, especially through several Web Series (I will soon put up a post about them too). It pains me to see this. The one place, THE ONE PLACE, where these fuckers don’t rule the market, they have to, just have to take shit over. I’m looking at you, Shirish Kunder, YRF, Bindass, etc.
The thing is, this matter affects me directly. I want to make short films but these guys are taking this market away too. The only reason creators like me came to the internet was because we did not have ANY other place to showcase our stuff. Now, be honest, who the fuck will watch a film with a bunch of nobody actors in it when there are short films with Manoj Bajpayee, Naseeruddin Shah, Radhika Apte, etc. I have the utmost respect for these actors and I know that given the opportunity, I would cast any of them in my films. But the point is, they are eating into the share of nobody film makers. I’m not going to compare these popular works with my films, because I can’t declare my own work as better than anyone’s. But I’m going to compare it with a friend’s film.
A close friend of mine and a super talented guy, Himangshu Arya once made a short film called ‘Kuen Ka Mendhak‘ (Click on the name to watch the film. And Please watch it.). Himangshu’s film, as of now, has 821 views.
On the other hand, another young director, Adhiraj Bose, recently made a film called ‘Interior. Cafe. Night’. This was a good short film. With a decent, albeit rehashed, story. But at least it was executed well. His film, as of now, has over 7 Lakh views (Kunder’s has Five Million). The difference between the views is simple. Naseeruddin Shah and Shernaz Patel feature in Bose’s film. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that Adhiraj’s film does not deserve those views, I’m just saying that Himangshu’s film does too.
My argument is not against the film. It’s against Bollywood and the Media. Because when Bollywood comes into the picture, it brings with it a heap of paparazzi. What happens then is that even the internet media like BuzzFeed or ScoopWhoop (I’m going to soon put up a post on these fuckers called ‘Click – Hate’, my take on Click – Bait) start covering the films with a strong connection to Bollywood. Despite the fact that those films are going to be seen anyway. The job of these internet websites should be to FIND talent like Himangshu’s film. Not just share something that’s convenient.
Both the films I mentioned talk about love and in a way dealing with loss. They have extremely different treatments and even fall into separate genres. But if I were to compare them simply from the perspective of choosing a better film, I would choose Himangshu’s any day and not because he’s a friend. Because here’s a guy who has no budget, no stars, no high end equipment and he’s using all these things to his advantage to make an unconventional film that has a cliched story but he turns it on its head.
Now, I can blame this on marketing or tie ups or whoever but the point is, the Internet media needs to stop paying so much attention to popular stuff and just spend half as much energy finding new, fresh films that really NEED our attention. And I sincerely hope that they listen. But then again, who am I kidding?
I know I sound immature when I say that Bollywood (Actors, especially) should leave this space alone because, whether they intend to or not, they take up a lot of the attention that could have gone to other, possibly (not definitely) more deserving places. And at the same time I am aware of my own hypocrisy because I have a couple of short film scripts that would kill with Manoj Bajpayee in them. Hence, it’s up to the audience and the media. Because our hands are, proverbially, tied.
P.S – Absolutely NO hate to Adhiraj Bose. I was talking about the larger issue at hand. You should check out his film too. It’s pretty cool.
P.P.S – The image attached with the post is from Himangshu’s film.