Setting the scene for growth of independent cinema

Collective starts script mentorship programme for aspiring filmmakers

December 12, 2021 06:16 pm | Updated December 14, 2021 12:14 pm IST - Kochi

A scene from the award-winning movie Vasanthi, which was supported by Filmocracy Foundation.

A scene from the award-winning movie Vasanthi, which was supported by Filmocracy Foundation.

Filmocracy Foundation, a collective that supports independent filmmakers, has launched a script mentorship programme. An expert panel would guide through their scripts and help them achieve their full potential. “The idea is to encourage more independent filmmakers pursue their dreams, without having to compromise on artistic freedom,” says Babu Gangadharan, one of the founder-members of Filmocracy.

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A non-profit organisation, Filmocracy was formed in 2017 with an aim to help independent filmmakers through the process of filmmaking. It provides the equipment required, such as camera, lights and crew members to handle them. It also provides a sound package, which includes recorders, mics, lapel mics and batteries. In addition, it offers post-production guidance as well.

Filmocracy built its foundation on procuring smart, yet affordable technology. A Bengaluru-based entrepreneur contributed the first set of camera equipment, and the initial cost to set up Filmocracy was sourced through crowd-funding. It lends equipment to filmmakers free of cost. The filmmaker would only have to shell out a nominal compensation for the crew of technicians sent by Filmocracy.

Aspiring independent filmmakers have to submit their project proposal on Filmocracy’s website, which would be assessed for their creative merit by a panel of experts. Since its formation, it has supported 20 projects including feature films, short films and documentaries. Vasanthi, directed by Shinos Rahman and Sajas Rahman, which won the Kerala State Film Award for best film in 2020, was supported by Filmocracy.

Independent filmmaker Don Palathara, whose film Vithu , was made with production support from Filmocracy, says that he could bring down production costs and complete the project exactly the way he had conceived it. “The collective also facilitates entries to film festivals. It is upgrading its equipment, and this would help so many emerging filmmakers.”

Filmocracy Foundation has started accepting projects from outside Kerala as well — Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. “We want to reach out to more filmmakers across the country,” says Mr. Babu.

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