Documentary film makers face problems of funding and getting audience: Usha Deshpande

Goa: Documentary filmmakers face many challenges including non availability of funds and audience said Smt Usha Deshpande, President Indian Documentary Producers Association(IDPA). She was addressing a media conference along with IDPA General Secretary Shri Sanskar Desai at the 50th International Film Festival of India today in Panaji.

“The main need of a documentary film maker is to reach the audience. We are organising screenings and film festivals all over the country to provide platforms for documentary film makers. In collaboration with Films Division, films screenings have started in many cities during the second and fourth friday of every month. Screenings are about to start in 20 more cities including Gulbarga, Pune, Mumbai, Jaipur, Delhi etc”, she said.

Touching upon the quality of education imparted through film schools and institutes, Smt Deshpande said that sometimes the quality gets compromised and a lot of institutes misguide the students. “ Since most of them are private institutes, we cannot control them. The control has to come from society”, she said. Complimenting her, Shri Sanskar Desai said that they are working with the government to ensure quality of film schools with some kind of accreditation or rating.

Smt. Deshpande further said that documentary film makers function in more or less the same way journalists work. She cautioned that while working on social issues, one needs to have an impartial attitude.

Explaining upon the efforts of the association to train aspiring filmmakers, Shri Sanskar Desai said that IDPA is collaborating with four universities to conduct workshops for the students. “Filmmakers have to be trained. But we are just facilitators in this process. We have a slot in Doordarshan where about 60 films have already been shown. Film makers are getting money from the telecast. The call for entries for the IDPA awards is also just to begin”, he said.

Shri Desai also called for support from the government to implement a film policy which gives steady work and income to the documentary makers. He also revealed IDPA’s plans to start film clubs where documentary films can be screened.

IDPA will organise Open Forum on the sidelines of IFFI on November 25, 26 and 27 at 1.30 pm. The topics for the Open Forum are “ Is there any monitoring of the quality of education being imparted by various film schools mushrooming around the country?”, “How real are reality based feature films?”, “Are independent filmmakers benefiting from digital distribution platforms ? ”

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