Short film directors turning to blogs, DVDs to promote work

July 23rd, 2008 - 10:48 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Facebook
By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Many short film directors are now using new age media as a platform to promote their work. While some bank on networking sites and blogs to promote their film, others prefer DVDs. “Networking websites Facebook and YouTube prove to be a useful platform,” says Vasant Nath, a short filmmaker from Panipat based in Mumbai.

Nath’s seven-minute film “Sukrit’s Sundays” was showcased at the 10th Osian’s-Cinefan Film Festival that concluded here July 20.

“Internet is a good way to self distribute short films by placing some promos. On Facebook, you can even invite people to watch your film. They help in interactivity.

“But these websites deal with small audiences and it is a process of taking your film to people more personally. It is helpful in a way that people respond and give a feedback,” Nath told IANS.

“This is satisfying at a personal and the individual level in the sense that you get a quick person-to-person account of the impact of the film. Maybe the medium is not commercially viable, it is surely emotionally viable,” he added.

Bollywood actress Tejaswini Kolhapuri, who was a part of a short film titled “Salt and Pepper” about farmers suicide, says she also used the Internet to promote the movie.

Tejaswini said: “I think websites are a new medium for budding filmmakers to promote their films initially. ‘Salt and Pepper’ was showcased at the Cannes Film Festival this year and it is available for viewing on YouTube.”

But there are many who prefer DVDs to the Internet as a means of promotion. Atul Sabharwal, who says he distributed DVDs of his film “Midnight Lost and Found” in various film festivals, is one of them.

“I have tried distributing DVDs of my first short film at a film festival abroad. I think it is an effective channel. For an independent short filmmaker like me, a DVD of my film is like my visiting card. And when we are here at a film fest like Osian’s where our film was played, we get a good platform,” Sabharwal said.

Gautam Baruah from Guwahati echoed Sabharwal’s opinion and said: “I have considered the idea of distributing DVDs. I posted my film’s video online, but I have not yet received any feedback on it. I think it will take time for people to understand the Internet as a medium of such exchange,” he explained.

Another young director Pierre Friquet, who is originally from France but is currently studying at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, too distributed DVDs of his film “Snoozers” at the 11-day Osian’s gala.

Said 22-year-old Friquet: “Internet is good for the preparation of making a film. It is nice to see others’ films and as a medium to explore for references, it is surely fast and efficient.

“But posting it on YouTube or any such site isn’t really the thing to do. One gets a lot more platforms like Osian’s where I can distribute my work through new media (DVD).”

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