Film Education

BEHIND THE SCENES: Part 3 (Clap Trap)

Behind the Scenes (“ClapTrap”): Part 3

By Sorab Irani – Chairman/Managing Director, SBI Impresario Pvt. Ltd.

It is believed that in Mumbai there is a potential documentary waiting to be made on nearly every street corner. Mumbai is perceived as the city of dreams, the question which begs to be answered is how many of these dreams ever come true and for how many. As one of the character very poignantly said in the film “The Clap trap” – ” There is only one Amitabh Bachhan and many thousands of disillusioned actors with shattered dreams and compromised  lives – why chase such a dream ?” However to dream, to hope, is the stuff that keeps us going, we all live today for a better tomorrow, without hope or dreams it would be an empty tomorrow and today filled with despair.

Bollywood probably unwittingly made dream-making into an industry. Provided hope and elevated despair with escapism. In the darkness of the movie theaters everything was served up, song and dance, sex, comedy, melodrama, forcing people to suspend their reality and millions thronged the theater space for exactly that, probably again without realizing it.

Having said that even my idea of a documentary film on the ‘Extras’ of the Mumbai film Industry had to move from the realm of idea (mind) into reality.

After struggling with the idea in India where documentary at that time was considered the orphaned child of Bollywood, I shifted my focus to parts of the world where documentary was given its due importance as a film format and audiences were interested in seeing them.

I proposed the idea to Farrukh Dhondy at Channel 4 TV – London. Farrukh Dhondy was a multicultural Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 with an interest in India. The commissioning process was straightforward. Submit your idea in one or two paras if the Commissioning Editor saw merit in the idea then he would commission the research of the idea, the effects of the research would determine if Channel 4 wanted to commission the project or not.

Farrukh Dhondy approved of the idea and commissioned the research, being a documentary the research was rightly given more importance then director, technicians etc. The subject matter was correctly the center focus.

The research that I presented both visual and along with the treatment was appreciated  and my company was contracted to produce “Extras” which was its tentative working title. The budget was comfortable as payment was to be received in pounds sterling.

Once all this technicalities of budget approval and legal contract were over I decide I must  meet Farrukh Dhondy in London and get his thinking aboard realizing that this film had to be made for an international audience and so needed to be crafted as such. I also got to see many documentary films made by Channel Four and benefited immensely.

Farrukh Dhondy was a renowned writer and intellectual which he still is and of course a great communicator. What I learned from him was to stand by me in good stead for the many other documentaries that I made.

The basic thing he told me was that the Films Division format of documentary was dead. We were of course brought up on Films Division documentaries which we were forced to see when ever we went to the movies in those days by government decree. Example – we see a visual of say of the Khumbh Mela and the voice of the narrator would say this is the Khumba Mela. The voice of the narrator was to be eliminated all together and the narrative of the film should be propelled forward by the voice of the characters that people the film. The technique of using voice – over to provide smooth transitions of scenes, that a good documentary was given birth on the editing table, that the director had to be non intrusive, the material should never be staged, capture live events as they unfold in time, the magic of such moments is what Farrukh called ‘Observational Documentary’ all these new ideas were very exciting and I knew they will  help me make a documentary film which will be very engaging to an audience. However I must say here that the most important advise and in Farrukh’s own words was – ” Want advise to make a good film – tell a story, want more advise to make a good film -tell a story” .

So I came to Bombay teaming with all these fresh ideas and work started on assembling a team to make the film.

To be continued…………



Navroze Contractor has been the cinematographer for many path breaking and award winning feature films. ‘Duvidha’ directed by Mani Kaul, ‘22nd June 1897’, ‘Limited Manuski’ and ‘Devi Ahilya Bai’ directed by Nachiket Patwardhan, ‘Percy’ directed by Pervez Merwanji, ‘Love In the Time of Malaria’ directed by Sanjiv Shah, and ‘Devarkadu’ directed by Pattabhi Rama Reddy being a few of them. He also shot ‘Frames’, directed by Chetan Shah, the first feature film in India to be shot on High Definition format.

He has also contributed to the documentary scene world wide, as his name is attached with films like ‘Balad of Pabu’ by George Luneau , ‘Dreams of the Dragon’s Children,’ shot entirely in China, by Pierre Hoffmann, ‘Are You Listening’ by Martha Stewart, and the ‘Last House in Bombay ‘ by Luke Jennings. His major Indian films are ‘All in the Family’ by Ketan Mehta, ‘What Has happened to This City’, ‘Something Like a War’ and ‘The Legacy of Malthus’ by Deepa Dhanraj, and ‘Famine 87’ by Sanjiv Shah.

In a scenario where cinematography has hardly ever been a part of the story telling component of the film, Navroze Contractor redefines cinematography and talks about his passion and inspirations to Oorvazi Irani.

Q. Do you see a great advantage for a cinematographer to be trained in the visual arts? How did your BA (Fine Arts) degree in painting and photography at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University of Baroda influence your work as a cinematographer?

I feel visual studies is extremely important in molding a cinematographer, just watching films is not enough. In western art there is perspective, light and shade and extreme realism that needs to be studied because our traditional art has little of this. Our traditional sense of perspective is different and that needs to be studied too. This is all in case one gets to shoot a period film, or even for shooting scenes with extreme source lighting. If you haven’t seen Rembrandt seriously, you are at a disadvantage right away, I feel. Also, in an art school you study still photography and look at old and new masters who become reference points later on.

Q. What is the first thing that you look for in a frame as a cinematographer?

A. Light. I see light the very first thing. Without light, there is NO photography. In any location I go, for a film or otherwise, the first thing I notice is light. How is it falling in the room, how is it on faces, how is it in the open, in the night, in rain, in a dust storm, in my dreams… I am obsessed with light.

Q. In photography you play with perspective and light but you rightly mention that Indian photographers and cinematographers have no reference point because our miniatures (Indian paintings) have no perspective nor light and shade. In fact the Renaissance painters were a great source of inspiration. In light of the above how can we create an Indian framing distinct in the visual style and who are the filmmakers who have been involved with such explorations.

A. I am not sure whether there is a distinct Indian Visual Style. Cinema is an imported art, it needs huge amounts of gear, which needs a lot of learning, and it all came from the west. There are people who have tried hard to get an Indian Style. I can think of Guru Dutt, Satyajit Ray, Arvindan, Mani Kaul, Kumar Sahani and some. At the same time many of them were influenced by Bresson. I am not too sure on this. The early Bombay industry surely had a style borrowed from the stage.

Q. How would you define the style of Mani Kaul as a Director? Do you see any specific influences in his work in regards Indian aesthetics or the French filmmaker Bresson, who he says had a major influence in his life?

A. Mani is a cinema genius. He stands alone. Strong words but true. His style of functioning depends entirely on what subject he is tackling. I made DUVIDHA with him. The first thing I noticed was that he never had a script. It was all in his head. Most he had was the short story that he would privately consult when in doubt. Mani had studied Rajasthani miniature paintings so he had selected such locations and we made them as flat as we could, to get that perspective. Mani is also a very serious student of Indian classical music. I too have studied classical music but not as much as him, so often when a camera movement had to be made he would sing in my ear, that was my speed, rhythm of the shot. This was real fun, as no one else except the two of us knew what was going on with the camera.

Mani had seen a lot of my still work done in Punjab when he was scouting locations of USKI ROTI. We would have long discussions about B&W, lenses, movements, light and concepts. Very little technical stuff. More of ideas and things like that. I am not a technical geek, nor is he. Technical stuff can be solved as and when we faced problems. Anyway, those days we had very little means and so had to make do with very little, too. It is from these evenings and showing him locations for his film that he promised I would shoot, if he ever made a color film. He stuck by his word. That’s how I got to be on DUVIDHA. It was my first EVER film.

Oh yes, he said he was influenced by Bresson but I think except for working the actors, I didn’t notice anything else.

Q. Could you share with us the experience of working with Mani Kaul while shooting his films? How did you go about planning and preparing for his films? Could you describe the process involved in shooting an important scene from one of his films?

A. I remember the night scenes well. We shot DUVIDHA on Kodachrome Reversal film. Daylight was 25 ASA and artificial was 40 ASA. Today no one can imagine such slow stock. The village in which we shot could not take the load of lights. So all the sequences were shot only with two sun guns and oil lamps. The film was so slow we had to place the lights very close to the actors, often so close we thought the clothes would catch fire. Whatever we did, the results were beautiful.

Q. What according to you is the key role of a Cinematographer versus a Director in the visual department?

A. Simply put, the cinematographer is the eye of the director.

Q. To understand the dynamics of the French New Wave in cinema, how would you define the elements of Truffaut’s visual style as a reference in point to understand the elements that go into analyzing an aspect of a Director’s style belonging to a specific movement and the distinct choices made in terms of the visual dynamics of composition etc.

A. I am not an expert on Truffaut, with all due respects. I admired, in the French New Wave, Goddard more. Goddard really made the camera completely mobile. He proved that the camera can be as fluid as the mind, non linear and even wavering, and still tell a story.

Q. Could you share your enriching experience and lessons you learnt with Bhupendra Karia and Laszlo Kovacs who you went to train with.

A. We will leave Karia out of this as we are talking cinematography. My real first guru was Mr. Nair (then lecturer in the cinematography department) at FTII. He taught me the basics of cinematography from the back door (as I was refused admission in cinematography..For not doing science!). I learnt everything about cameras, labs and film from him. The more interest I showed, the more he taught me. In one year I could work on any camera, do lab work, grade negatives, handle lights and even run a projector. I loved him.

The course I took with Kovacs was very specialized. I had shot two feature films, several documentaries and ads before going to him. Kovacs showed us how to look. He showed us that the most important thing is to be able to look. That no situation was too challenging and never to say NO to a director. Observe, observe all the time. That is the research of a cinematographer. Never let equipment dictate; use it as your tool, like writer uses a pen. He used to keep saying that a cinematographer spends half his time solving problems, some parts managing his team and only a small part in aesthetic pursuit.  The cinematographer has to relate to everything, art director, actor, sound recoridist and even the editor, besides his own crew and the labs. Be disciplined, be healthy because the demands are tremendous. The director has the privilege to be crazy, not a cinematographer. Let me tell you, unlike American teachers, he was very tough and extremely demanding. We would start 7am ad end at 11 pm. Breakfast, lunch and dinner had the smallest time given to them. He never once spoke about cameras, lenses, film stock and lights technically, only what you could do with them, only ideas and moods.

Q. You have been personally part of a very strict disciplined professional training in your life and have been fortunate to interact and assist great artists. As a teacher in the visual arts what would be your advice to an aspiring passionate filmmaker or cinematographer who does not have the means to go to a training school or assist another professional in the field to follow as a routine or discipline to develop and expand his visual skill and understanding.

A. In the above answers I have said most that is needed to be a cinematographer. Today, with the invention and accessibility of MINDV cameras people have gone haywire. Only because it is cheap. They have lost discretion in shooting and hardly pay any attention to the quality of the visual, relying solely on the auto image that today’s cameras provide. With the screen popping out on the camera even the ‘point of view’ is blurred. Holding it down to your arms length, is the navel’s point of view, I simply say pay more attention. Shooting hundreds of hours is no virtue, it doesn’t mean anything, and it only means relying on fluke. On the flip side the new equipment has also demystified cinematography, which is a good thing.

It is very essential for an upcoming person to assist someone or go to school to train. It not only teaches you the techniques but also how to be with people. After all, film making is a collective activity. Maybe I am wrong, but so far I don’t know of anyone who has come up entirely on his/her own.

Q. Being actively involved in the documentary field of filmmaking for the past many years how would you define the documentary form in the present times?

A. It is alive and kicking, thanks to the cheap mobile gear, tapes and editing setups.

Q. Among the many important documentaries photographed by you, could you single out a few challenges as a cinematographer that you had to face on some particular projects and how did you overcome them?

A. The biggest challenge in any documentary are the people you film. Make them relax, make them feel important, don’t make yourself over burdened with gear, this intimidates your subjects. Be polite at all time but be strong willed. Read and react with different situations. You’ll overcome everything.

Q. What is the role of technology in your art and craft?

A. In my own work except being able to get good quality images, I don’t much dabble in technology. I am glad that today’s cameras have become smaller, lighter and better all round. I am not a techno geek. My technical expert is Sanjiv Shah, a terrific documentary filmmaker, and computer geek and in the digital field ‘know all’. I have no ego problems on consulting him, or anyone I respect. Today there is endless technology to play with. It’s not my priority.

Q. What was it like to study video production at Sony Corporation, Tokyo, Japan?

A. Very different from anything else. The Japanese were very casual about technology and would never stop you till you made a mistake! If you were working on a table and your camera was going to fall off, they will let it fall off, like that. They would show you something ONLY ONCE. If you didn’t pay attention then, you lost that point because it would never be repeated. They were maniacal about cleanliness and being on time.

Q. Do you feel you have a signature visual style to your work?

A. Tough question for any cameraman. Each film needs different approaches and different styles. People say my documentaries look like feature films, and feature films look like documentaries. I guess that is my ‘signature’.

Q. Were you influenced by the style of any filmmaker or cinematographer and in what way does it show in your work?

A. The biggest influence in all my work has been the still photographs of W. Eugene Smith, and my cinema influence is from Latin American films. I like the rhythms, blood, sweat and tears in Cuban films. I admire the rawness and magical realism in them. They have furious percussion going on even in a tender love scene! Fantastic. In my work, I guess it shows in how raw my images are.

Q. Have you used a light plot or a lens plot in any of your films for a creative end?

A. Yes. In the film PERCY, the most. Almost the entire film is shot with a 35mm lens. Film, lights and filters always on daylight setting. This was to get the warm look though out. It was after long discussions with Pervez Merwanji.

Q. If you look back at your first film you made as a cinematographer as the passing out film of FTII, what comes to your mind?

A. I dropped out after thirteen months, and that as a direction student. My first film was photographed by Balu Mahendru, and I made it look like the Seventh Seal of Bergman. It was a surreal short film as then my influence in Art School was Dali, and in FTII Luis Bunuel.

Q. Is a director in you waiting to be born or that’s for another lifetime?

A. I have directed a couple of shorts, written a feature film script but never perused it.

This Interview has been first published on 24th February 2010 by the Dear Cinema Website

© Copyright and all rights reserved Oorvazi Irani


Hi, I used to do theatre with my mother in childhood .
10 years with different mumbai theatre groups ,mainly IPTA.
23 serials are on my credits, “Mamta’ ,”Sarathi” “Tara’ ‘Droupadi”,”Mujhe dore koyee khiche’ ” Trikal’,”Waqt ki raftar’,”Maharana pratap’ and many more….
Few advs with good houses.
one book of poetry is published “Khuda Se Khud TaK’
Recites my poetries and my father Shri Sharad Joshi ‘s work all over India and abroad.

Acting in Cinema vs Acting in Theatre

A million dollar thought once again put up for discussion.

I would like to express my views as I believe acting is all about conviction with the right kind/amount of energy …… which ever medium you choose.

The stage gives complete liberty to an actor to incorporates his 100%, though there is a limitation in cinema, but I feel its just the technical aspect ,as soon as you cross that barrier you enjoy the same kind of excitement and completion in it .

‘The right look’ is very important for cinema but for the theatre a good actor can transcend himself to all possible boundaries …..and the instant reaction of audience gives a good kick to an actor and that  energy or faith of the audience work instantly on their subconscious and make their further journey easier ……esi liye bade kahte hai ki pahle theatre seekho phir aana………the basic body posture training can be learnt from theater ,voice projection etc. Still the soul performance comes from within ,which either you have it or you keep on learning….  what you learn from life is what you reflect in your work…… phir log kahte hai oh oh actor badhiya hai…

My mother did some great work in theatre but as nothing is preserved no one knew about it……in films you are registered for centuries. Theatre groups should keep the visual recording of their good plays and great actors, it will help the next generation.

I saw a great play in my childhood Mahabhoj with excellent performance by Mahonar bhai, Uttara Bavkar and Surekhaji. I wish it was recorded, the kind of electrifying energy they crated on stage , was worth watching even today, some how they missed out a little in films……..I don’t know why.

End of the day what counts is how well is the script written, how is your role in it and how much capacity you and your director  have to cultivate it.

I think, in cinema with little carefulness for your body, facial expression and awareness you can do all at ease, and in theatre too…it is all about what you are. Both the mediums are great as long as you are enjoying doing it ….and people enjoying watching you…

Neha Sharad

SBI Film Appreciation Course Guest Participant  2008

What is Film Appreciation

What is Film Appreciation

To be able to appreciate there needs to be an ‘understanding’ and that is what film appreciation is all about for me. To help you understand the key dynamics of what film is made up of – technology, art, industry. The next stage of the process hopefully would be to reflect on it and to appreciate it.

To look back at the history of cinema is important as there lies the story of the evolution of the language of cinema. To really understand what contemporary cinema is made up of we need to look at what went before because on the foundation of the past is based the present and the future.

The language of cinema is universal which crosses all boundaries. Cinema has been influenced by various artists, countries, innovators, art forms, businesses and the coming together of these forces creates something unique which is cinema as we know it today. Understanding these contributions makes the study of cinema more interesting and valuable.

‘Film Appreciation’ is a humble attempt to make you aware of the potential of cinema and empower the artist and audience aiming towards a more enriching experience.

Oorvazi Irani

My First Film Course

I knew my goal… I just had no idea how to get there…

I landed back in India on the fifth of January 2006 quitting my college and leaving my family back in USA at the age of 19. I just had one mission, that is to be a film maker. I met several esteem professionals who either guided me or just mocked my immaturity.

I was repeatedly told by my peers to take up a small course to know my strengths. My uncle told me about the FTII film appreciation course which happens every summer. Something or other would keep going wrong. Most of the times I couldn’t get off time from work to go ahead and do the course. I kept reading about short term courses in Mumbai as well, but none of them looked appealing to me. It often upset me that in the hunt for bread and butter, in the mess of trying to settle down, my passion was going far away from me. In 2009 I decided that no matter what, I am going to enroll in a film education course. Hence my hunt began to find a course that was right for me.

Mid march, a friend sent me an email about Oorvazi’s film education course. I glanced through the write up and was quite impressed with the educationist’s profile. Highlighting factors such as the weekend batch , the fees and the venue got me quite excited to give Oorvazi a call. After getting an understanding of the course inputs, I made up my mind to go ahead and take a chance.

From the first minute of the first day of class, I just knew that I had made the right choice.

Knowledge kept pouring in! Though I couldn’t stay back to watch all the films as I was quite tied up at the work front, but Oorvazi was kind enough to burn me a CD of Pather Panchali – the movie I was craving to watch. The group discussions, small activities, chance to voice out your own thoughts, conversations during the class, the comfort zone, the cinematic ambience was simply overwhelming.

I still don’t believe that I have taken a “class”, the Film appreciation course was a platform for me to know my strengths, work on my weakness, and get intense knowledge.

I cannot thank my friend enough for sending me the email. I didn’t realize that I was missing out on something this empowering for all this while.

I thank Oorvazi for all her guidance, for being so flexible, for being the perfect guide and for letting the students be their own teachers.

Catch Oorvazi’s next batch starting: 22nd of May!
– Hiral Bhatt

Interview with Sumit Kilam
May 6, 2010, 6:16 pm
Filed under: Professional Talk | Tags: , , ,

“Leaving Home – The Life and Music of Indian Ocean”

You can watch a trailer of the film on this link

For more information on the band and the film follow them on Facebook

1. The charm of documentary for me is in the fact that’s its ‘reality’. Capturing those moments of ‘life living itself out’ is special and I did experience some such moments in your film like when Indrajit Dutta, a former band member comes back to visit the band and plans to play for 10 ten minutes but his art arrests him there for 2 hours and he plays some lovely riffs. Can you share with us any such special moments that come to your mind that you feel could never be planned but they just happened and are at the core to the unfolding of the film.

Absolutely, it’s one of those things that just happen and you haven’t planned it. Well we did have a couple of more documentary moments:  when Asheem and Amit start jamming in the rehearsal room right after Bandeh and  one is egging the other one on. If you look at Desert Rain and that moment when Rahul and Amit start  an improvisation, that was purely unplanned and the camera person was very very alert to catch it. These moments more than anything else make the audience aware about the chemistry between the band members.

2. The music of the Indian Ocean band was an integral part of the documentary very rightly so, and experiencing some of the spontaneous music practice sessions were personally quite enjoyable. How did you’ll go about the process. What was the shooting ratio of the film.

The idea behind capturing the band was to capture the essence of the band. And it had to happen in their personal space, that room in Karol Bagh, which as the band puts it is their energy centre.

One thing we were sure of was to make the shoot and edit of the film as gimmick-free as possible.  We just wanted to go in there, enjoy what they were doing and be a part of their music making process. The music in the film has been divided into three major spaces: The live concert which has the band the way they would be in a full fledged audience concert. The Karol Bagh concert which was more like a private/personal kind of a thing and the third was the rehearsal space where you see the guys creating the music. The venues may have changed but the treatment/style of presentation of music in the three places has been the same in the film—that is to show the chemistry of the band and the energy that is then projected in the music. So the edit focused on catching the cues one man gives the other, a raised eyebrow, a twitch of the lips; or simply just letting the audience look at a musician immersed in his music (Susmit)

3. Would I be right in saying that the film was made on the editing table to a large extent. Was the film conceived differently initially and the material took its own form in the process. Your first cut was app 4 hours long and finally you arrived at an app 2 hours final cut. Being involved in the editing yourself did you feel anything was compromised because of the length or it got more refined. The film was absorbing but at the same time I personally felt the length, maybe because of the lack of visual stimulation in repeated setups.

Well as far as length goes, I would say that probably we have been preconditioned to think that a 2 hour long docu is something which is hard to digest. It’s more acceptable if it’s like 90 minutes. But if you look at the film it cant be less than the duration it currently is, though it could easily be longer and believe me there are so many things that we wanted to include in the film which didn’t make it to the final cut. Editing this film was a huge exercise: a lot of the story evolved on the editing table. This exercise was undertaken mainly by three people (Nimish, Shriya and myself) with Jaideep leading the way. And I remember the discussions we used to have about how we should go about the edit. Infact when we did the first cut of the concert we were not happy with what had come out, we knew something was missing but what was it, we were not sure. Then I said look at their chemistry and the cues one band member is giving the other. The past 15 years that I have been listening to them and watching them perform that’s the thing I have loved the most. They communicate with their music. That’s what was internalized by the editor (Nimish) and when we cut the music with that thought, it was a totally different experience.

We would also debate what should be our stance as regards the narrative. We came to the conclusion that the story should be in a linear form and it has to be their journey. But then even in that journey there are a lot of things that should be included so who are we making the film for. So we came to this conclusion that we are making this film for a person who is not an Indian Ocean fan. The first cut was 4 hours long because as Indian Ocean fans it was hard for us to just throw out things, but then when we kept looking at the whole thing with the objective that this film is for a non-IO fan, it became easier for us to throw out things.

4. You have made history of sorts by being one of the few rare documentaries  having a theatrical release for your independent documentary film. In India Financing for independent films is a challenge and how did it work in the case of this film.

It’s quite unfortunate to see the state of  art in the country. And the reason is that everyone wants to do Bollywood or Bollywoodise everything around. It was a huge challenge to come out with this film for us. And all credit goes to Ramki and Jaideep for showing tremendous belief in this project. Cartwheel is an ad agency owned by Ramki which has an entertainment division called Cartwheel Features; and the idea behind this entertainment division is to do projects which won’t/can’t get made because of the so called “industry standards”. And it was like one arm of the company helping and supporting the other arm. The funds for the project came from the work that our advertising division was doing. So that’s how we got this film financed thanks to the other division (ad agency) of the same company.

5.The film does not travel too much or have expensive setups but has been in the making for some time now. What was the budget for the film and being an Executive Producer what was your key role and what were the challenges you faced to make this film and how has the journey been till now.

We started out with the idea of making a 12-15 lakh rupee small-budget film but today it’s crossed that budget and crossed it by quite a margin. We started  work on this project in May 2006 and it was ready by December 2007, and in the same period we had finished another feature film called Hulla. Leaving Home has released in April 2010 so its taken four years for this film to come out. It was quite tough to shoot this film in the hot Delhi-summer . But I think it’s the Delhi food which compensated for the shoot. Such lovely food.

We had a 45-day shoot schedule mainly in Delhi and some parts were shot in Simla. It was great team effort during the shoot between all the crew members which saw a product like this come out. Hats off to the cinematographer (Gargey Trivedi) and the sound designer (Vivek Sachidanand) for doing a splendid job in that weather. As the executive producer my work involved a lot of co-ordinating stuff with the exhibitors, making sure that the project is not going way over budget, pitching with marketing ideas, striking media partnerships with the channels, websites, magazines. Looking back it’s been a great journey, a great on how one can pull off small films and get them a theatrical release. And Jaideep led the way right through showing tremendous passion and determination to get this film released on the big screen.

The last leg, which was the last 20 days before the release, was quite interesting. Ranjan Singh who headed the marketing for Leaving Home, and his team came in and just took the film to a different platform with their great marketing and PR skills.

6. Your documentary film tells an inspiring story, it is about the triumph of these individuals who succeed as sincere artists in this world where money is worshiped and high salaries lure people. Here are a bunch of people who followed their soul (even the way the band functions without a leader is great). Since you do not appear in the film in spite of being Amit’s (band member) brother what would you like to say about the film and what is your take about the role of art/artist in society.

Oh I am so happy I am not in the film but am a part of the film. I think its my small contribution towards this band that I have loved so much for the past 15 years. I have grown up on their music and to be able to be a  part of the first such kind of a film being made on them was a dream come true for me.

Why is Satyajit Ray’s cinema great

Why is Satyajit Ray’s cinema great

Moments of Truth !

A mother affectionately running after her son to eat his food… a sister playfully forcing her brother’s eyelids open to wakeup…experiencing the wonder and excitement of the train for the first time, before it arrives….enjoying the sensuous fall of raindrops on mortal flesh …an old aunt narrating ancient tales coming to life with shadows on the wall….ripples in the lake sealing the lid to a secret.

These are unforgettable moments in Pather Panchali. Why ? They are filled with sensitive observations of life and with one gesture, one image, one word ….a world external and internal is revealed. These moments make you experience the truth of living. These moments not just tell you the story but make the story be experienced. You enter into Satyajit Ray’s film Pather Panchali not with your mere senses of vision and listening but with your heart and soul.

The yearning of a mother for her son in Aparijito

The tender love between a couple and the husband’s coming to terms with his wife’s  death in Apu Sansar

The restless, playful and longing Charulata

Satyajit Ray’s films don’t leave you with a pessimist frustration but usually with a ray of hope.

Most of Satyajit Ray’s films go beyond merely looking realistic, but they feel realistic’ and in that truth lies its power!

Oorvazi Irani