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Habitat 2019: Did not understand the business of cinema when making Bhor, says Kamakhya Narayan Singh


Kamakhya Narayan Singh and Ridham Janve recounted their experiences as first-time feature filmmakers in a discussion with journalist Shubhra Gupta.

Ridham Janve and Kamakhya Narayan Singh in conversation with film journalist Shubhra Gupta. Courtesy: Habitat Film Club

Our Correspondent

On day 3 of the Habitat Film Festival, eminent film journalist Shubhra Gupta was in conversation with Ridham Janve, director of The Gold-Laden Sheep And The Sacred Mountain, and Kamakhya Narayan Singh, director of Bhor. As filmmakers who had embarked on making their first features, they recounted their journeys and shared some of the challenges they faced as independent filmmakers.

Talking about the making of his film, Janve said that while the process was not smooth, it was beautiful. “Ultimately, it is more important for me to create an experience and not tell a story," the filmmaker said. "I want to keep experimenting with my work. I really enjoy discovering new things within my craft.”

Kamakhya Narayan Singh talked about his transition from being an avid fan of actor Mithun Chakraborty to becoming a documentary filmmaker and spoke of the significance of making a fiction film that is rooted in reality.

“I always wanted to make a film that looks real,” the filmmaker from Assam said, expressing his frustration in trying to find actors and actresses who were right for his film and willing to go the extra mile to lend authenticity to it. “In Indian cinema, even when there is a drought, the characters wear clean clothes,” he remarked, emphasizing the need for depicting real circumstances.

Janve offered a different view on the depiction of reality, saying, “Sometimes, you don’t want to keep it real. Sometimes, I would want the element of fantasy to come in,” gesturing towards the mingling of reality, fantasy and the supernatural that one observes in his film in the Gaddi language of Himachal Pradesh.

Both filmmakers said paucity of funds was a huge problem that impeded the process of completing their films and pointed out that even as independent films, they need to do business to sustain their filmmaking.

Kamakhya Narayan Singh said, “If you make any kind of film, it needs to do business. Without that, either you cannot think of continuing to make films or you cannot remain independent.” Janve agreed: “As an independent filmmaker, I do things my own way and get money back also, but it’s challenging.”

Although both expressed their desire to see their films make it to the big screen, they were also realistic about the challenges that lie in their paths.

KN Singh said it was easy for films with big stars to get a theatrical release, but there are several hurdles for smaller films. “I have never assisted anyone on a feature film," he said. "I did not understand the business of cinema when I was making my film.” Janve also said that while he would want to see his film being screened in theatres, “there is a lot of politics in getting films on the big screen”.

Related topics

Habitat Film Festival