The allure of films has always held me captive. While words on paper still hold the supreme position in my hierarchy of story-telling, films combine the best of all art: narrative fiction, music, visuals, the semiotics of acting and much more.
|Apur Sansar (1959)|
Many beautiful films are produced everyday, in all languages, but it seems to my mind that in India mainstream cinema has mostly revolved around Roadside-Romeos, Dons, Violence, Vulgarity and Stars in the recent past, and there has been a deep chasm between what are called “commercial” films and “art” films. In the last couple of years, however, some films that please both the aesthetician and the entertainment-seeker have come into the mainstream arena. And this, I think, is a great time for Indian filmmaking.
Indian films of today tell original stories: of both the “real” and the “imagined” kind. All art is imagined, but art is truly wonderful only when it is unique. Now, all films are meant to speak to an international audience. All mainstream Indian films are objects of wonder and mockery no more: people of other nationalities want to understand Indian peoples, their reality and their dreams... and the films that exemplify this, which were earlier pushed to the "art" category are now accepted at least in the fringes of mainstream cinema if not as "commercial."
The Indian audience has largely matured over the years, they do not want to watch film after film of glamorous actors who cannot act, or stories that make no sense and have loads of masala incorporated, including the mother-son sentiment, the item-number and action-sequence. They want good narratives. They want art. Films are enchanting only when they bring characters and stories alive.
|Mogha Mul (1995)|
Long conversations of the latter kind with my husband, Sushant Desai, induced us to think of starting an independent film production company. Our love for film and the drive to get together a team of like-minded people to make films that tell human stories stuck on. It was late last year that our idea became reality: we partnered with the Nadathur brothers and started Camphor Cinema.
With an international cast and crew, our first film is an Indo British collaboration. The film is currently in the making.
We hope to be able to further collaborate with artists who have a rare vision and intend to create films for the new era. As Schiller notes: all human beings possess the inherent capability to understand and appreciate aesthetic art, if they are exposed to it. And that is what we aim to do: bring great stories to a larger audience.