Posted by Vivek on December 9, 2012 | No Comments

In the recently concluded Mumbai International Film Festival, the one film which had everyone on their feet and in an applause mode, was FILMISTAAN. Here we talk to the young filmmaker, Nitin Kakkar, whose vision created FILMISTAAN. Over to Nitin:

A little about your journey to becoming a filmmaker?
My dad was a Photographer and we had a dark room in one corner of the house. That is where I had first seen the magic of a blank paper converting into a photograph…at that time I did not know that I would go on to direct a film someday.

I wanted to go to a film school when i grew up but could not afford to do so financially. So decided to learn on the job. After assisting on few music videos and feature film I made my first short film in 2004, titled ‘Black freedom’. After which worked on few television series and in the mean time worked on scripts, After which hunt for a producer began. It took a little longer than expected but eventually ‘Filmistaan’ happened.

On your first feature film, that played recently at the Mumbai International Film Festival?
“Filmistaan” Is my tribute to Indian Cinema. Its a non-political film from a common man perspective which speaks about how movies have the capability of crossing borders and connecting the worst of so called “foes”.

Filmistaan is the land beyond borders. It is  a metaphor for no mans land between the two countries.

I was very happy when it got selected for Busan Film Festival in new currents section. I loved the reaction of the Busan Audience, Filmistaan got a lot of love from the audience and a special Jury Mention.

It was also selected at MAMI in a non competitive section.

How was the reaction in the festival?
I was very eager to show the film to the Mumbai Audience as it’s the hub of Indian cinema. I was expecting a good response but a standing ovation was overwhelming. The amount of love the audience gave reassured my faith in the cinema I believe.
Everybody who came up to me wanted to know when is the film having a theatrical release, as they wanted their friends and family to watch it.

The film is travelling to Kerela, Delhi and Jaipur in India. Its going to Palm Spring Film festival in California, Tromso Film Festival In Norway and Goteborg Film Festival in Sweden. I am really eager to see the reaction to the film in U.S and Europe.

The challenges that you faced in getting this project completed?
I knew making my 1st film would be difficult, and it was. There were times when bad got worse and felt like it wont happen.
Shooting a film in 20 days on a shoe string budget was not easy. I wanted to shoot the Filmistaan on 35mm since it was my tribute to Indian Cinema, which meant an additional cost of 25-30 lakhs, shooting on a digital format would have been more cost effective but I did not want to give my tribute to celluloid on a digital format. We asked for a lot of favors from the suppliers and the team. It was the crew of the film that made it happen, their unconditional love, support and the belief in the film is what made a film called ‘Filmistaan’

But the fight is not over, I am still fighting the fight to get it a proper theatrical release.

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