Why does the Indian audience have such a broad and loopy definition of the Indian Indie film? Because there are not enough tastemakers, curators, festivals with real curatorial authority, reviewers, gurus, filmmakers, etc. telling the audience what an ‘Indie Film’ really is. It may be low budget or medium budget, may or may not have stars, stripes or songs in it. But it is essentially a good story well told, that asks questions rather than gives answers, and for that reason it will live in your conscience long after you have left the theater.
After all the struggle I did in my initial years, and with the struggle I still have to do as someone who wants to make independent films, somehow I feel that true independent work is possible only if you have the guts to risk everything you have, and without any obligation to anyone.
We are still too afraid of the outcomes in the name of public reactions. We don’t want to be hated no matter how much we boast about our indifferent nature towards people and love for art. I love my audience small that is, I love them nonetheless.
I think we are going through the most difficult phase because of the multiplexes in the malls, studio power and a culture that only celebrates the box office.
In the second in the series, Shonali Bose who directed the national award winning film Amu and won the Sundance Institute– Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award 2012 writes about the compromises she refused to make while treading the indie tightrope.
The word challenge may be the key to deconstruct indie cinema. Perhaps the only way that a film could claim that it’s indeed an independent film is when it challenges, provokes and engages.