By Yash Thakur. Posted on December 22, 2015
Year ends are a great time to look back & take stock of life. This time last year, the Jamuura team was much smaller, and the blog was just getting started. But we made a promise to ourselves and we've gone all out to achieve it this year. From interviews with top directors, cinematographers, editors, producers, art directors to covering the biggest & best film festivals & events, we were all over the place. Like, really.
And we've had enough reasons to do that. Indian films have traveled the world and come back with buckets full of awards. From Masaan to Court; from Killa to Kaaka Muttai; from Chauthi Koot to Thithi, our films have pushed the envelope in terms of form and content. Mainstream producers & exhibitors have shown an awareness & acceptance of this trend and backed films like Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Titli & Pikoo.
We can say with some degree of confidence that we've done a decent job of bringing this evolution to you. Of course, there's a long way to go, but since the start of this year, we have been constantly looking out for emerging talents and unique voices in the world of cinema, and bringing to you, as much of that as possible.
So in the spirit of Christmas, and as a year-end gift, we bring to you the best of whatever we've written during the year. These are the best, most-read, and in many cases, fresh perspectives from our editorial desk on the constantly growing Indian independent cinema. Have a read.
Throughout the year we have done some really immersive and rich interviews with some of the best people in the business of filmmaking in our country. Early in the year we interviewed Abhishek Jain, the Gujarati filmmaker (Part I & II) who is spearheading a 'new wave' in Gujarati cinema. We spoke with the people behind the film of the year, Court, director Chaitanya Tamhane & producer Vivek Gomber alongside important team members. Producer Sailesh Dave spoke about the sleeper indie hit Sulemani Keeda and how released it online while the director of Cannes winning Masaan, Neeraj Ghaywan, shared his process of filmmaking with us.
We had a soulful chat with his producer & the 'mother' of the Indian independent film movement Guneet Monga, who spoke about what she's learnt in the last 5 years & Sikhya 2.0. Maverick filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, spoke on the meaning of 'indie' and the problem with indie filmmakers.
We also managed to talk to the head of Cannes Short Film Corner Alice Kharoubi, who shared important advice on how to get your film into the prestigious festival, while experimental filmmaker Kamal Swaroop spoke on his obsession with Dadasaheb Phalke. Filmmaker Pan Nalin shared notes on his latest film Angry Indian Goddesses, while noted screenwriters like Anjum Rajabali & Juhi Chaturvedi shared their writing process with us. Leading art director Sabu Cyril took us through how he created the sets for the epic film Baahubali, and internet sensation The Viral Fever (TVF) spoke to us about the art of making a web series.
A still from Court, which was, quite easily, the film of the year
We are fascinated by the craft of filmmaking & keep turning back to the work of great masters to learn from them. From the legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky to India's own Hrishikesh Mukherjee, to video essays on Steven Spielberg, Darren Aronofsky and Akira Kurosawa we spent a lot of time dwelling on what made these filmmakers great. Other interesting pieces include our work on specific films like Sergio Leone's masterpiece Once Upon A Time In America, Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, Mani Ratnam's Iruvar.
From 12 rules of editing, to how passion can wreck a filmmaker's career or Dibakar Banerjee's tips on digital filmmaking, this year we scoured the vast recesses of internet, to bring to you the best of filmmaking knowledge already available out there.
If you want to learn, you can do it sitting at home. All you need to do is, follow us. :-)
Here are some of the best articles to begin with.
Listen to the top directors of 2014 talk about their films at The Hollywood Reporter's Directors' Roundtable, or know more about how Quentin Tarantino uses sounds in his movies, or how the Oscar winning Whiplash was made into a feature from a short film, and how one of the best cinematographers of today, Lubezki uses of long takes to create effect (also check out this awesome tribute on him).
Some of our other top posts include this article on the 15 mistakes made by beginner filmmakers', this one on how to achieve the film look for your footage, this one with 10 tips for low budget filmmaking, this one sharing how writers' can get rid of the creative block and this one here that goes behind-the-scenes to show how the VFX was done for the biggest Indian film ever, Baahubali.
The year was abuzz with director Alejandro Inarritu shooting in the most remote locations for his upcoming flim, The Revenant with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and actor Leo DiCapri0, among others.
These are pieces that stand apart from the conventional form of writing and reporting and shed a different kind of insight altogether; best if you read them yourself.
The post which explains why Ram Gopal Varma is probably the most influential Indian director ever, this one that looks at the history of method acting, a look at the immensely popular genre of film noir & its history, a tribute post to Mani Ratnam's legacy, master of words Gulzar on poetry & direction, analyzing one of India's greatest tragic tales: Pyaasa, a read into how Kamal Hassan inspired Tarantino for his Kill Bill: Vol 1 and a video that shows what veteran filmmakers Shyam Benegal and Martin Scorsese had to say about world renowned Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
And we can't end without thanking Mani Ratnam. All the posts we did on him really clicked with everyone. Thank you sir. :-)