Panel discusses various takes on importance of the international exposure

Is it a myth that the films that do well at film festivals fail commercially? And does the film-maker gain anything, besides recognition, by sending his/her movie to a festival? There are around 3,800 film festivals every year across the world, how is every film festival different from other?

And, what better venue to address such questions than the 9th Chennai International Film Festival, where a panel of eminent film curators demystified film festivals on Sunday.

It was in 1932 that the tradition of holding film festivals began, but till a few years ago, they were strictly meant for cultural exchanges, said Uma Da Cunha, casting director, who is associated with the Toronto film festival and other international film festivals. Media consultant Yogesh Karikurve stressed the importance of marketing in the world of films that helps producers make money from non-theatrical areas too.

“It started with the movie Lion King when only 30 per cent of the revenues depended on theatres,” he said.

“You have to start thinking about what festivals to enter at least four months before you start shooting,” said film maker Alphonse Roy, who moderated the discussion.

Thiyagara Kumararaja, director of ‘Aaranya Kaandam', which has made it to one international film festival, said that producers here were often not keen on sending films to festivals. G.Dhanajayan, chief, UTV Motion Pictures, said that since most producers depended on theatrical revenues and the tag of an ‘art movie' closes chances of further revenue back home.

“Film festivals are important to us but as producers, we want recognition after our money is recovered,” he said, urging committees of film festivals to accept movies after they are screened at home. Deepti Da Cunha, the Indian consultant of Venice Film Festival, pointed out that for film makers the recognition an international film festival gets is enormous and often, the international community comes forward to take of the film-maker's other ventures.

The 9th Chennai International Film Festival is presented by The Hindu and Akshaya.

The film festival's book was also released on the occasion.

RELATED NEWS

Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012