Monday, December 24, 2007

Tomorrow’s Cinema is e-Cinema’: Anand Parthasarthy.

Digitalization is the order of the day. This seemed to be the maxim that everyone was chanting at the fourth seminar of IFFK conducted by Kerala State Chalachithra Academy and Kinfra Film and Video Park at Hotel Residency today. Anand Parthasarthy, Consultant Editor of ‘The Hindu’, Jayendra Panchapakesan, Director, Real Image Media Technologies, Anthony Gedang, Digital Filmmaker from Phillippines, Agnidev Chatterjee, Indian Film maker, R. Harikumar, and K.Sudhakaran, Chairman and Manager respectively, of Kinfra Film and Video Park participated in the seminar titled ‘New Trends in the Digital Revolution.’ Moderator R.N. Subramanian of LV Film and TV Academy.
Overviews of upcoming trends in digital filmmaking, India’s promising position on the global front in terms of the digital use, and the apathy to this digital boom by some of the film fraternity were the areas which Anand Parthasarthy laid bare.His comprehensive PowerPoint presentation showcased how changing technology has impacted the making of films from yesteryears to this day.
Quoting veteran Adoor Gopalakrishnan he said that the ‘dream like quality of black and white films was shattered by digitalization’. He also quoted Film Archivist P.K. Nair who felt that digitalization was just another business gimmick which poses a threat to the creativity of the film makers. Real Image Media Technologies Director, Jayendra Panchapakesan highlighted how this company played a pivotal role in ‘providing cost effective solutions to break the digital divide’. Lower distribution costs but higher quality, effective means to battle video piracy, ensuring accountability by the distributors and providing digital archives for convenient storage of old as well as new films are some of the advantages of digital cinema which he listed out. He explained that the indifference to adopt new technology was because the exhibitor would reap no benefits and huge investments had to made to upgrade theatres.
Antony Gedang, producer cum businessman from Phillippines, talked about digital distribution and exhibition of films. He threw light on new concepts of digital marketing. He described how encoding, compressing and packaging of films without compromising on quality are possible with the latest technology. Such films will be accessible to any screen anywhere and anytime. He also spoke about the difficulties independent film makers in his country have to face due to financial constraints as well as the competition from the national TV channels which produce and market their own films.

Indian filmmaker Sridhar Rangayan added that besides these obstacles independent film makers found it difficult to publicize their films as against commercial films with mainstream actors. Kolkatha based film maker Agnidev Chatterjee raised many a skeptical eyebrow when he aid that his movie ‘Lord Let the Devil Steal My Soul’ was made on a meager budget of 5 lakhs. He thus proved how it is possible to rise above financial constraints and make decent films with the aid of digital production.

K. Sudhakaran spoke on Kinfra’s contribution to the industrial growth in Kerala. He added besides providing top-notch post-production facilities at Kinfra they also aimed at producing ‘industry ready’ animators.

Anand Parthasarthy had the last word when he said that the number of digital films and theatres with digital projectors will increase significantly and that ‘tomorrow’s cinema will be e-cinema’.

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