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Directors favour theatres for art house cinema

PANAJI: Directors of the Indian Panorama section at Iffi have emphasized the need to set up a separate chain of theatres showcasing art house cinema.

"Our cinema has its own audience, but our films are being hijacked. They are received and screened elsewhere. It hurts that it is not as popular in its country of origin. There also exists discrimination between documentaries and feature films. We need better infrastructure to promote these films," said Sourav Sarangi, the director of 'Char... the no Man's Island' a film about the dislocation caused by the constantly changing river Ganga demarcated as the border between India and Bangladesh.

Gurvinder Singh, director of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC)-produced film 'Anhe Ghore Da Daan' stated that there was a need for parallel chain of theatres to showcase short films and other art house cinema.

"We are making films at an exciting time, especially non-Hindi films, giving a big fillip for independent cinema. There is new energy at NFDC where top distributers and producers are brought in. Indian films are very popular at Cannes, Berlin and Venice," Singh said. 'Anhe Ghore Da Daan' which focuses on the status of dalits, migration and landless labour was screened at the Modern Art museum, New York and at the festivals at London, Venice and Bussan. "When my film was screened at PVR in Mumbai and Delhi, the tickets were priced at 400 and 900. It's like shooting a dead body," Singh said.

"With newer technology and its accessibility, the scope for unconventional films is bright. There is newer talent. Documentaries are no longer limited to statistics and figures," Sarangi said.

Also present at the meet were director Unni Vijayan whose film titled 'Lessons in Forgetting' based on a novel by Anita Nair, was described as multi-layered and nuanced, and director Abhijit Mazumdar whose film 'Vanishing point' revolves around the friendship of a cinematic duo on a journey.

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