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Space to screen indie cinema shrinking: Roger Christian

Jury members of IFFI-2017 (from left) Vladislav Opelyants, Roger Christian, Muzaffar Ali, Maxine Williamson, and Tzahi Grad in Panaji, on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

“With the demise of independent cinema, it’s very hard for any filmmaker, especially new ones, to get their films shown. The only place is a festival now,” said Academy Award-winning production designer Roger Christian, giving his insight on the importance of festivals, here on Saturday.

Speaking at a press conference jointly addressed by jury members of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Christian said, “I do as many [festivals] as I can because the only place for good films to get exposure is a festival now. Like an echo, the word of mouth goes out and it gets picked up,” said the English set decorator, production designer and feature film director.

Chairman of the jury and National Award-winning filmmaker Muzaffar Ali, who has long been associated with the festival, acknowledged that IFFI has grown in content, size, quality and participation over the years.

Talking about his experience this year, Ali said, “We are looking to a great quantum leap in this realm of festivals which showcase world cinema. It [jury] was like a big orchestra coming together and each of us shared moments of our lives through these films. It was a very cinematic experience.”

Associated with the prestigious, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Maxine Williamson, the only woman on the jury, said she had been following this festival for the last ten years. “We (as jury) had a wonderful time and journey. The films were strong. I was really happy to see regional cinema in the competition,” ,” said Ms. Williamson.

Israeli actor and director, Tzahi Grad, spoke of getting to know other cultures through the festival. On being asked about judging films belonging to different cultures, he said, “We look at it as cinema first, and how it affects you. It is easy to feel it. Many films had several ideas that managed to switch our opinions.”

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 3:05:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/space-to-screen-indie-cinema-shrinking-roger-christian/article20941771.ece

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