Cinema Beyond Boundaries wrapped its weekend stretch in New York on September 29 at SVA (School of Visual Arts)with educational sessions redefining the world cinema for film enthusiasts. The two- day conference was attended by filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar from east and well- known panelists including film director Micheal Canzoniero and Dan Fogler, music composer Wayne Sharpe, director and producer Vladan Nikolic and actors Reshma Shetty and Ajay Naidu.
Other panelists were Aroon Shivdasani, School of Visual Arts NYC president Reeves Lehmann and Tanuj Chopra with moderators Anna Swanson and Vishesh Sharma.
The event was presented by Molecule Communications whose founders, brother- sister duo, Ajay Shrivastav and Kiren Shrivastav aimed at educating guests on the inside workings of the industry from contracts, to unions, to first hand experiences of actors, directors, screenwriters and producers from different kind of cinema starting with Indian and American cinema. Event was attended by film students, aspiring actors, filmmakers and distributors etc. The best part was that guests came from Australia, Chicago and LA who specially flew down to attend this event.
The weekend film conference started on Saturday with a beautiful performance on guitar by Bhrigu Sahni (grandson of actor Balraj Sahni) followed by a discussions on how to view film, the music of films and how to score a movie, a presentation by SAG-AFTRA explaining their position in the industry and the importance of unions, how to get finance for films and a discussion with Madhur on Bollywood and Indian Cinema as a whole. It also ended by an impromptu gig by Bhrigu who dedicated it to Indian filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar. Wayne Sharp was also a part of audience for this.
Madhur shared his journey and struggles. He asked the young aspirants to follow their dreams and keep trying to carve a niche in the film industry.
There was a music session by Wayne Sharpe where he showed how to create live music. The session was moderated by Simon Taufique. The panelists shared their experiences and opinions about how their careers have gotten them to where they are now, expressing their views on the ever changing direction of film. Filmmaker Vladan helped the audiences with technical and procedural aspects of film production.
A session on crossover actors like Reshma, Ajay Naidu and casting director Jennifer Peralta-Ajmenia conveyed how it is important to work hard and be at the right place and fighting the ascent and regional barriers. (Continue Reading…)
On Sunday there were presentations ranging from how-to get involved with independent filmmaking, and how to be a producer, to how to cast actors with chemistry and what to expect from film festivals and its do’s and don’ts so that filmmakers do not waste their energy on wrong track.
The last panel of the weekend provided the comparative viewpoint of American cinema expectations with those of Indian cinema and produced a general outline of what is expected within each industry.
The last session summed up the theme of the festival. Madhur said, “Indian films have high emotional content to relate to well with its audience.” Dan and Micheal shared how the west appreciated songs and dances but were happy to see that independent filmmaking tried newer concepts too. They all shared how film industry in east and west had problems of same nature and filmmaking is an equally complicated task for the west. Madhur also mentioned how Indian cinema had limited audiences compared to Hollywood as English has larger reach but he said that even then cinema knows no boundaries.
Many were excited about the opportunity to interact with industry professionals and equally as eager to learn information about the current industry. Be it film makers, directors, screenwriters or score writers, or simply avid filmgoers, the audience had a diverse interest that spanned all edges of the film industry.
Overwhelmed with the response this year Ajay Shrivastav and Kiren Shrivastav said, “We are happy that our initiative to create awareness on cinema and give direction to the film aspirants is being not just by knowledge from the achievers but also direct connect and networking. We are grateful to SVA , Reeves Lehmann(SVA) and SAG-AFTRA for their support without which this event would not have been possible ”
Overall many left the event with a rounded knowledge of cinema as a whole and a fresh look at what the processes of cinema entail. Those who were stuck not knowing what step to take next found answers, while those looking for a place to start were given direction.
The session lived up to its title Cinema Beyond Boundaries as guest panelist Micheal Canzoniero said, “It is important to develop a dialogue between eastern and western cultures as there is a lot to learn from each side. All in all there is truly only one type of cinema – and that is World Cinema.”