FILM FEST Exploring a winnable alliance of the very small screen and the big
Mobile phones have come a long way, from being ubiquitous status symbols to all-in-one devices of sliver-thin trouble-shooters. Last week, the NCR played host to the 6th International Festival of Cell Phone Cinema at Marwah Studios in Noida. Karl Bardosh, professor at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, refrained from calling the cell phone a ‘cell phone’.
Father of Cell Phone Cinema, Bardosh was of the view that creativity should not be suppressed due to lack of equipment. “Any portable device, whether a cell phone or a tablet, or any such device which has the capability to tell a story, even if for just a minute, has the possibility to contribute to cinema,” opined Bardosh. A view that Sandeep Marwah of Marwah Studios completely endorsed.
“Back in 2006”, Marwah recalled, “when we went to shoot at a hospital with a cell phone for the first time, people laughed at our ‘stupid idea’. Today at the inauguration of this festival, I see the change in behaviour. Now a movie made on a cell phone is no longer a laughable idea.” The 450 cell phone movies submitted for the festival this year, proved his point.
The easy accessibility to cell phones coupled with the shrinking amount of time at hand, has opened the market for this kind of new cinema. “In a country of a population of 121 crores, where approximately 20 crores has a cell phone with screening technology, even if each person has access to at least one movie for a nominal amount, the turnover would be unbelievable,” said Marwah on the financial viability of such cinema.
The event was also attended by Atul Vyas, regional director, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, members of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Mr. India 2012, Vinay Kumar. Also present was the Commissioner of the Nigerian State of Kano for discussion on the possible Nollywood-Bollywood tie-up.
Stepping on the threshold of this new brand of cinema, a significant part of “no excuses cinema”, as Bardosh put it, the audience awaits for its senses to be tested by this ‘mobile’ cinematic experience.