By Arun Fulara. Posted on December 15, 2015
It's not everyday that a multiple National Award winning filmmaker & one of India's finest directors, shares his filmmaking knowledge, experience & expertise with you. This happened to me last weekend, when over 4 days of intensive sessions, Umesh Kulkarni & Samar Nakhate, took me & 70 odd other aspirants through the various aspects & fundamentals of filmmaking. Luckily for those who couldn't attend it & would want to, Kulkarni & Nakhate will conduct the same workshop in English, in Mumbai next month (details below).
I imagined (naively) that this would be a session for the uninitiated & that since I have been reading & writing on films & filmmaking for a while now, I KNEW quite 'a bit'. No notion is as dangerous as that of 'knowing it all'. Only now, after having spent 4 days closeted in a room, looking at images, thinking over them & analyzing them threadbare, do I realize the extent of my ignorance.
The journey from being a 'viewer' to being a 'maker' is not a simple one. This change cannot be affected just by picking up a camera & making 'YOUR' film. The easy access to cheap yet good quality cameras has unleashed a wave of films online, with people experimenting with the craft. While that is a good thing, the focus in most cases seems to be on getting a film made, without actually thinking about the 'why' of it. While too much analysis can 'paralyse' you, the lack of careful thought, can stunt your growth as a filmmaker.
This is exactly what Umesh Kulkarni intends to address with his workshop. Kulkarni, for the uninitiated, is the acclaimed director of Marathi films like Deool, Valu, Vihir & the recently released Highway - A Selfie Aar Paar.
Kulkarni is also one of the few Indian filmmakers to have bridged the gap between critical acclaim & commercial success, his film Deool won him the National Award in 2012, while Valu & Vihir won acclaim at festivals like Berlin & Rotterdam. If you haven't seen these films then maybe this review will persuade you to go see them.
Kulkarni is especially passionate about the short film format & his short films, Girni, Garud and Three of Us have also each won wide acclaim internationally. Girni won the Best Director and Best Cinematography awards at 2005 National Awards, apart from travelling to more than 40 international film festivals. In 2013, a retrospective of all his short films was conducted at the prestigious Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival in France.
Before we go ahead, i need to add a disclaimer. I have long admired Umesh as a filmmaker & Jamuura is partnering with him on this initiative. Having said that, the workshop was an eye-opener to me. Umesh, along with Mr. Nakhate, who was the dean at FTII for a long while & is one of the most respected teachers the institute has had, took the group through the various stages of the filmmaking process in a structured manner. While the workshop is called, 'Shoot a Short', it addresses the core concerns that any filmmaker should face up to.
Why do you want to make a film? What do you want to say? How can you best say it? Is it only about the glamour of films, or are you seeking something deeper? How do you enhance the impact of your story? What is the best way to go about it?
These are the questions that the workshop helps answer. It will tell you how to take your idea & turn it into a film & open your eyes to the possibilities of the short film format as a medium.
Whether you are a college student or corporate professional interested in learning about the craft of filmmaking OR you've already made a few short films & want to learn more, this is your chance to do it. While you can only learn so much in 4 days, the workshop can surely set you on the right path by making you think & answer those questions that NEED to be answered before you can truly call yourself a filmmaker.
7th to 10th January, 2016
Time: 9.30AM to 5PM
Sathaye College Auditorium, Dixit Road, Vile Parle East, Mumbai