[V]ipin Vijay’s “A Voice From Elsewhere”, a project on the life of the Latin Christians in an island in the Kochi backwaters of Kerala, won the Rs. 10 lakh (USD 18,000)- Incredible India award at Film Bazaar this year. His last film “Chitra Sutram” (The Image Threads) was nominated for the Tiger award at International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2011.
How will the “Incredible India” award help “A Voice From Elsewhere”? What do you plan to do with the award money?
Any award, especially this sort of an award, helps in the process of confidence building, not only for the filmmaker, but also for the minds involved in the film. Especially this project needs lot of archival and academic research which needs lot of time and patience. Other than research, the money can be utilized in various levels of space exploration and building a team for a longer time of interaction with the production process.
At what stage is the film and when do you plan to start shooting?
We are now in pre-production stage and will start shooting by September 2013.
Tell us about the film and your cinematic vision?
The film is about the lives of Latin Christians in a fictitious island in the Kochi backwaters of Kerala. The film weaves together their micro histories, their troubled notion of spirituality and the unusual events churning human lives which serve as a map of current cultural desires, dreams and fears.
How does a platform like Film Bazaar help filmmakers? Please share your experience.
Now the co-production mode of film-making is coming into currency more and more as there are efforts to make cinema across landscapes and culture. Film Bazaar is a potential place where an Indian director and producer can pitch their ideas to various interested producers and distributors from various parts of the world. Even if a particular director does not get overseas support, at least he gets aware of the priorities of overseas audience and marketing networks that prepares the independent filmmaker’s mindset better to face the challenges of global market.
What do you think about independent film-making scene in India?
As the distinction between “art cinema” and “market cinema” get dissolved more and more, the playing field for an independent filmmaker faces new kind of crisis. Though independent filmmaking as a practice remains marginal, there are many people who are aiming towards that glorifying ‘marginality’. It is time to redefine independent filmmaking in Indian context.