Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cisse has called for joint ventures between filmmakers from India and Africa, stating that it will only help cinema if young directors, in particular, are able to work without hassles both in India and Africa.
Delivering the G. Aravindan Memorial lecture here on Tuesday during the ongoing 17 International Film Festival of Kerala, Mr. Cisse, known for the intimate portrayal of Africa’s culture and its complexities through his films including ‘Waati’ and the Cannes Jury award-winning film ‘Yeelen’, said he himself was looking for a music composer who could help him remix his 1995 movie ‘Waati’, with all its sensibility and subtlety intact. A ‘tragedy’ that he had been facing as the maker of ‘Waati’ was that he had never been able to find the kind of music he was looking for. Now while in India, the idea had hit him of a possible collaboration for the purpose.
The same concept, he said, could be extended to other spheres of filmmaking, including scripts, screenplays and production as well. The joint ventures, however, should be done in the right spirit, by persons who would be committed to the task, with the wish and intention to move forward come what may and willing to take risks at every level. The director should not have to make compromises, but be allowed to stick to his own vision of his movie.
Such ventures, which would help in a heady cultural mixture of India and Africa, would go a long way in nurturing cinema, he felt. Mr. Cisse was waiting for the screening of ‘Waati’ during the IFFK here to see the response of the Indian audience to a movie that spoke about the apartheid in South Africa.He never considered ‘Waati’ to be a failure though the people of his own country had not taken it seriously. This was despite northern Mali now witnessing ‘one form of apartheid’ now. The film was yet to be released in South Africa where it was shot, for obvious socio-political reasons.
“But I’m really proud of the movie and I believe it will be recognised one day,” he said.
Veteran French curator Martine Armand translated for Mr. Cisse, while known filmmakers Martial Knaebel and Shaji N. Karun introduced the Malian maestro.