IN FOCUS Filmmaking has found new takers among young collegians

“I like Anurag Kashyap type movies,” declares 19-year-old Hasneet Sethi, while her classmate Navdeep Moudgil feels ‘Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an awesome filmmaker.” Caught in a war of words at the Drushti Documentary and Short Film Festival hosted by St. Francis Degree College for Women, these youngsters are not just avid movie lovers but they are students of film and television studies. Passionate about filmmaking, they aspire to take the road less travelled and take up film direction and production as a full time career.

Few years back, filmmaking was not considered a viable career option, as it did not come with the usual job securities. Even though, engineering and medicine still remains a favourite among students and parents, there are few students who are willing to explore and experiment with options like filmmaking. “I was surprised to learn the various aspects of filmmaking when I started shooting for my documentary film. Earlier I used to think it is all about script, location and shooting. But I came to realise that it is the post production that interests me the most,” says Fareeha, a mass communication student and participant at the Drushti Film Festival.

Not just professional filmmaking schools but most colleges too provide basic training in camera handling, editing at the undergraduate level, which facilitates the students in their movie making ventures. “We could not have finished our documentary film without the college's support as they provided us with all training and equipment,” claims Geetanjali Goel, another mass communication student.

In fact, the parents of these students are also encouraging with their film careers, as Hasneet Sethi explains, “I used to shoot late in the night and stay back to finish editing and parents used to get very worried. But when they saw my project and realised how passionate I was, they were very encouraging.”

Making short films and documentaries is part of the curriculum for most undergraduate communication student but what they crave for, is a platform to show their work and get industry contacts. “Not many people are aware that there are numerous amateur filmmaker and spreading the word among friends only helps to a certain extent,” says Ria Girri a final year students who is already planning to intern with Nagesh Kukunoor. While Bhuvan Rustagi a photography student who has come from New Delhi to participate at the film festival adds, “Inter-college film screenings and festivals gives us scope to exchange ideas and build contacts.”

While the reasons are many. From trying to reach the grass roots level to convey their story or aiming to make a difference, most students feel that filmmaking is addictive.

“Now that I know the kind of hard work that goes into making a film, I will remind myself never to criticise another movie,” proclaims Madiha.