Sarthak Dasgupta, who directed The Great Indian Butterfly and won the Sundance-Mahindra Global Filmmaking award 2013 appeals to our readers to crowd-fund his film project “Cutthroat”
In the realms of Cinema made in India, for India, the biggies will always stay. Big budgets, big stars, big stakes and big blitzkriegs. Hence what gets told in these big films are trivialities. And told in loud expressions so that it makes sense to a big number of people.
Where is the space for boutique, cultish, non-genre films which are intelligent, low key, yet entertaining for a few? There isn’t any.
‘Cutthroat’ is that kind of a film, which in neither arthouse world cinema, nor a Bollywood circus on screen. And I also hope it will not turn out to be a headless apologetic endeavour, the kinds that get made in the name of low-budget, no-star flicks.
Such ‘Ideas’ which cannot be type-cast, often flounder for support. But when made, more often than not, they also pave the path for something new. ‘Cutthroat’ is at that stage where it needs that support. And that is perhaps the only reason why you should sacrifice your two cups of Coffee at a CCD or max, a pack of cigarettes and invest it instead, in helping ‘Cutthroat’ get a life.
Who am I? Do I deserve your two cups worth of coffee?
Though this appeal will go to some of you who are already my friends, but I am also not so famous yet. So, here it goes. I made this film called ‘The Great Indian Butterfly’ a few years ago [See trailer]. It took me 2 years to get funded. 16 days to shoot it. 7 years to get it released. And at the end got me 2 weeks of stay on screen. God has been merciful in a way that the film eventually travelled to various festivals and did a decent DVD run and sometimes still gets tweeted about, for various reasons.
But the grit and a continued hard-work paid off this year when based on my first film and my second film script, I received the prestigious Sundance Global Filmmaker award. It is an award that goes to 4 Directors from 4 different countries. More than anything, it gave me a validation that the way I have been thinking all this while was not an aimless stroll in fool’s paradise. I also got to be a fellow in the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab in March. It again taught me tricks to negotiate interesting bends on the paths to a good screenplay. ‘Cutthroat’ will be perhaps my first project to apply cultivated wisdom of 10 years. I had shot my last feature a decade back.
Most of what ‘Cutthroat’ deals with, is also there in the crowd-funding platform, which I request, you visit. However to stimulate your interest here, ‘Cutthroat’ is a musical, sensuous, dark-humoured youth film, set in an MBA school. We call it, ‘Days to Doom in a Biz school’. For most of you it would be an un-sensationalized walk down the memory lanes of your last few years of classroom education. An opportunity to revisit old jokes, old pals, old idiosyncratic characters, crushes, dilemmas and resolutions. And in the process, also immerse in the world of ‘Andy’, the protagonist, who tries his best to weather a raging storm of dilemmas in the wake of a sudden coming-of-age crisis.
There is a lot of money out there. I am also sure that once we stream our little resources to the common fountainhead to put this river on a track, it WILL pull whatever it needs to reach out and have a life of its own. That is the case with any creative endeavour. They slowly get a life of their own. But they also need to survive the birthing pang. I seek from you that little push so that the project can survive, live and eventually take its own course. [Contribute to Cutthroat here]
Please don’t spend too much of your hard-earned money. Also please note, for every stage of contributions, there is an exciting tangible gift waiting for you. Something that you can proudly flaunt later when this becomes a sensation. But beyond whatever you donate, please do talk about it more than you gift it in terms of money. There is a group on Facebook. Please join it. Add your friends. Partake in the contests. Discuss, debate, ideate, inform, share. If there is any service you want to offer, if you are good in something, let me know. This film will work more as a team effort.
Why am I doing it? Don’t I have a kitchen to run?
I do. And I AM involved in other projects which will give me subsistence. Perhaps this will also make its money (Profits will be shared with contributors beyond a level). But with this one I would not want to sell out. Why? Because this is revolutionary and a revolution is never won on money.
It is won only at the heights of Passion, Participation and a sense of Priority.
Hope to interact with you one-on-one on the FB group soon.