February 21 2019
'Don’t know how sustainable independent filmmaking is'
07 November 2017

Writing and getting actors is not that difficult, but production, distribution and PR is the real challenge in independent films, says the award-winning actor.

National Award-winning actor Konkona Sen Sharma marked her directorial début with critically acclaimed independent film A Death in the Gunj. However the actor is unsure when it comes to sustainability, how lucrative independent filmmaking is.

Also read: 'A Death In The Gunj' review - a discordant calm

She was speaking at a panel discussion titled “The State of Independents” at the sixth edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival, with a panel consisting of filmmakers directors Rima Das (Village Rockstars), Pushpendra Singh (Ashwatthama), Karma Tarawa (Ralang Road), Bornila Chatterjee (The Hungry), and Ektara Collective (Turup).

Konkona shared her experience of directing her film and said that she had not expected anyone to fund her film.



“I have acted in 40 films and out of them, some were nice, some were not ...at least eight are memorable. It was actually very frustrating also. Because sometimes one felt that everybody is doing something for you, somebody else is telling you the lines to say, somebody else is doing your make-up or telling you where to stand...Maybe at some level, it felt “what am I doing?” And then at one point what I thought was that without planning or thinking that I want to write or direct,” said the Lipstick Under My Burkha sctor.

Also read: Why 'A Death in the Gunj' is not your regular murder story

“I just started developing a story which was really close to me and kind of had been in my head since I diversed. When I started, I never had thought [it would work out]... because we know the reality of the world we live in — what will get money and what will not get money. It is nothing new or a surprise. So I don’t know how sustainable this [independent filmmaking] is.. It is great as a one-off project but when we think of long-term, how can one receive this process? ” Konkona added.

Asked if she is open to making another film by going through the same process, she said: “I think I would be comfortable in this zone. I don’t even see myself making something epic in that sense. I think I will be comfortable with this set-up.”

With films like Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, Omkara, Talvar and Wake Up Sid to her credit, Konkona stressed on the fact that the process of writing and getting actors is not that difficult, but it’s “after that when it comes to production, distribution and PR... how can you compete with films with so much budget?”

“You have to have a song and that is how you advertise and publicise your film,” she said.



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