Ramesh Tekwani, who needs no special introduction, held a Master Class on the first day of the ongoing 14th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF 2016) for Documentary, Shorts and Animation. The Master Class lasted for a good two hours with the collective discussion on the most significant topic of “Creation, Distribution and Monetization”. And Tekwani’s eminent panelists were celebrities in their own rights like Ashish S. Kulkarni, Nandan Saxsena, Kavita Bahl, Sanjay Reddy, Suri Gopalan, Karanjeet Singh, Vanita and Soumya Iyer.
Ramesh Tekwani opened the floor by giving a brief introduction of his panelists and then continued by saying, “Today we are going to discuss on the topic of creation, distribution and monetization along with the other aspects of a new concept known as the New Age Media.”
The first person to address the gathering was Ashish S. Kulkarni who specializes in pitching documentaries. He stated that along with documentaries even the short films and most of the animation films have their own importance and there are some animators whose work leaves you speechless. In fact a lot of storytelling effort is required in an animated film. The story has to be narrated in the sequential form of animatedly moving images. He further added that he takes pride in creating animated films of popular series of Mukesh Khanna’s small screen serial Shaktiman and a big screen film like Little Krishna. But of course it required several layers of animated work.
The next speaker Karanjit Singh explained how you can preserve your filmed work in a digitalised format of varied files like the jpeg, the mpeg files and so on and so forth. While Sanjay Reddy of Silly Monk Pvt Ltd elaborated on the current scenario of how to feed your content on the varied social networking outlets like YouTube, to name just one, and Channels and thereby earn your own profitable revenue without much hassles and efforts. On the other hand Soumya Iyer gave her opinionated version of how to adjust your storytelling in a digital environment keeping in mind the 3 “C”s namely the Content, the Culture and the Commerce. A point to be noted here is that if your content is the king then its properly channelized distribution is the kingmaker and that in turn takes care of its commerce aspect too.
Suri Gopalan from amongst the next set of speakers looks after the varied things like Netflix platforms, the Iphones and above all the distribution network of full length feature films including the documentary films. He observed that a lot of revolutionized things are happening in the above mentioned arenas. We need to build up a peaceful culture to accept these revolutionary changes.
Amongst the renowned panelists there was also a legal adviser named Vanita who informed the gathering to take precautionary measures to safeguard their interest. This was mainly referring to the tribe of the writers. She strongly advised them to take care of their legal rights as far as the copyright issue of their written work was concerned. She further added that all the writers must first mail their written work to themselves as a protection, as an evidence of their work and since they have to pitch their work to many concerned persons they face the danger of their work being pilfered by one or the other source.
And last but not the least was the celebrated duo of journalist turned documentary filmmakers like Nandan Saxsena and Kavita Behl. Nandan Saxsena stressed on the fact that every documentary filmmaker’s voice should be heard even if they cater to the documentary filmmaking of the “old wine in a new bottle” kind. But provided these documentary filmmakers should know that absolute transparency is needed especially when they are pitching or showcasing their works. That apart Nandan feels that a lot of representation and preparation has to be done as far as making an apt documentary on the people of Mizoram and Manipur and their varied issues are concerned. Besides he also stated as a matter of fact that the documentary films are also larger than life just like the feature films of the big screen so they must also be watched on the big screen and not on cell phones. If you do that the whole impact of a documentary film will be lost, besides while filming a documentary one should also understand the proper use of light and camera. And above all a documentary should also have a story which touches your heart, even if it depicts Violence in visuals. And last but not the least Kavita Bahl feels that an apt documentary film opens a lot of avenues.