November 5, 2017
National Award winning actress Konkona Sen Sharma, marked her
debut into the world of directing with critically acclaimed independent film "A
Death in the Gunj". However the actress is unsure when it comes to
sustainability, how lucrative independent filmmaking is.
She was speaking at a panel discussion titled "The State of Independents" here 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").
About funding of an independent film, Konkona shared her experience of directing her film and said that she was not expecting 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 that 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" actress.
"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... 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.