| Ronnie Lahiri, producer of Vicky Donor and Madras Cafe |
Shillong, March 4: Everyone has a story to tell through motion pictures. And one of the ways to learn the art is straight from those who have been telling stories.
An internship offer from filmmakers and sponsorship by Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma are now up for grabs for this purpose. The offers were made on the second day of the Indian Panorama Film Festival at the State Convention Centre here, during a discussion on promoting Meghalaya as a filming destination.
The immediate response to the offer to intern with filmmakers and producers was not discouraging, as Mukul Sangma pledged that his government would offer sponsorships to those who are willing to intern with the filmmakers and producers.
Vicky Donor and Madras Cafe producer Ronnie Lahiri, who left Shillong 20 years ago, was one of those who made the offer. So was Veena Bakshi, who made The Coffin Maker.
“Come and intern with us, as Meghalaya as a filming destination will help you,” Bakshi said while referring to her film, which was shot in Goa, a tourist destination. Goa gradually became the permanent abode of the International Film Festival of India.
She said Meghalaya could learn from Goa, where filmmakers need not run helter-skelter for permission, as single window clearance is available.
Having spent many years here, Lahiri said people from the hill state are hard working and creative. “Come and help us out in our shoots,” he told the audience, comprising young students and filmmakers.
He also said he would prefer to shoot his next film in the “abode of the clouds” rather than go to Switzerland. “I will come back and shoot my film here,” he said.
Noted filmmaker and academician K. Hariharan said entrepreneurship development, innovation and leadership have major roles to play in developing a place as a filmmaking destination.
“You do not have to follow Bollywood. Set your own rules and make the film according to the story. We also have to tell our own stories,” Hariharan, who offered to conduct workshops for filmmakers here, said.
Enthused by the response from the guests, Sangma, apart from declaring his government’s readiness to sponsor those who would go for the internship programme, also announced that the government would soon come up with a “comprehensive and an exclusive policy” to promote filmmaking in the state.
Earlier, Raghvendra Singh, joint secretary in the Union information and broadcasting ministry, said a website would ease the process of seeking permission for filmmaking.
He also informed that the Cinematograph Act, 1952, would be soon amended where issues like piracy would be taken care of by the law.