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Ronita Torcato

A little chit, a little chat, a little bit of this & that;meaning news, views & lotsa reviews from an independent journo based in Bombay aka Mumbai


Films must depict truth and beauty (Day 7 at 42nd IFFI, Goa)

What is the role of film  in a world suffering from illiteracy and a steep decline in book-reading?
"This is a social issue that needs to be addressed in a wider context. Well publicized junk,usually from Hollywood,pushes out serious cinema and takes over the time that should be given to reading or visiting an art gallery.The best  film-makers can do is to make good films. It is important to talk about truth and beauty in our films, rather than putting bums on cinema seats" asserted Milcho  Manchevski, award winning NYC based film-maker, writer, photographer and teacher from Macedonia, which has 16 cinemas and produces two films a year.  
The director,screenwriter and producer of  the docu-drama "Mothers" was responding to a question from this correspondent at the Media Centre. He described Mothers which is structured as a trilogy of episodes as " a meditation on the nature of truth". His next project is  a fake documentary tentatively titled Sunshine.  

New Zealand film-maker and marathon runner  Michael Bennett  acknowledged the "many joys which come from reading, but there are difficulties in getting the young to read literature." Bennett has directed and co-written  his debut feature "Matariki" which intertwines the stories of nine lives affected by a random act of violence. Speaking about NZ's film industry, Bennett said it was distinguished by "either blockbusters( eg LOTR,TinTin,Avatar)  or low-budget films.There's nothing in-between."
Filmmaking is about creating a unique world  but films and books can be mutually beneficial, said Simon Kaijser da Silva, director of  Stockholm East." Many films have been made from bestsellers. I'd like more films based on original screenplays" says  the young Swede whose debut film revolves around tragedy, rebirth and a love which is built on a foundation of lies. “In film, love is usually the hero’s reward but I wanted to make love the core conflict of the story. Love is a healing force but it can also be potentially destructive.It takes courage to recognise it and make choices.” 

Interestingly, the three film-makers have shown their films at numerous  festivals like the Berlinale ( Manchevski)  Toronto (Bennett) and  Venice( daSilva) but are  first-timers at the 42nd IFFI on which they heaped laudatory comments much in the manner of the Frankfurt delegation last week.Or Portuguese film-maker Francisco Manso last evening at the DFF reception.
Manchevski said,"IFFI has been an incredibly positive experience for me, but then I'm biased because I love India ( which accounts for 1/3rd of his new book of photographs) Bennett described the festival as "very warm and welcoming with a  wonderful selection of films".DaSilva said IFFI is "very friendly with a different, definite charm of its own. And the Goan, Indian ambience! Unlike Sweden where there are no people at all on the streets in the wintertime,there is so much going on, a film-maker doesn't have to worry..."

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About Ronita Torcato

Torcato Agnela Ronita
An incomplete round-up of movie news, features & views from an independent journo & (dare I say it:-) film critic in Mumbai



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