OTT is helping me immensely: Filmmaker Rima Das
Filmmaker Rima Das, whose Village Rockstars was India's official entry to the 91st Academy Awards, was in Kolkata for the premiere of her 2022 film Tora's Husband at the 28th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). IBNS-TWF correspondent Souvik Ghosh gets candid with the Assamese filmmaker who started her career as an actor but ended up telling indigenous stories from across the country...
Q. Would you like to return to acting through your own film?
A. I had acted before. I didn't enjoy it. I would probably agree to act if I get someone who can be my assistant and understand my vision. But right now, I am more enjoying telling stories, which are plenty in India. Whenever I come across a story, I end up shooting it.
Q. You had shot The Man with the Binoculars in a DSLR camera. Since the time of the pandemic, several films have been shot in phone cameras. Do you feel like you were the torchbearer?
A. Shooting in phone cameras is really good because it’s helping people to tell their stories with freedom. It’s quite amazing and wonderful and I am also a part of it. I am still making films with small cameras. I didn’t realise whether I was a torchbearer or not when I shot the film.
But now I feel like being a part of the process that worked for me, otherwise my voice would have been lost. Maybe there were many independent filmmakers who worked on cameras at that time. Since my film has worked, others have got the courage to shoot in cameras.
Q. What do the laurels in film festivals mean to you?
A. It’s just about making the film, its journey and learning. When I work, being with non-professional actors and nature is everything. Travelling to festivals and successes are equally satisfying for me. I can’t separate between the two.
But the experience of making films and telling stories are more important for me. Even during my professional breaks, I feel like working. So what I have realised is, I just want to make films which give me immense pleasure.
Q. How many film festivals have you been to so far and tell us about one festival which you have enjoyed the most?
A. Actually I have been to more than 100 film festivals. Every festival is unique and has its own charm, beauty and my last three films were premiered in Toronto (Toronto International Film Festival or TIFF).
Q. Has new-age technology helped you to tell your own stories? How do you see the gradual elimination of the theatres or single-screen theatres more precisely?
A. Sometimes we have to accept the change and keep doing what we believe in. That’s what we can do. We cannot control or stop certain things. The opportunities have of course increased with the advent of new platforms. Earlier, it was limited.
Now one may get also lost. So one has to give his/her own fight. As a producer, it is easy to make a film but tough to move forward with it. The OTT platforms are helping me immensely because both of my films, Village Rockstars and Bulbul (Bulbul Can Sing) are on the web.
(Images: IBNS / KIFF / TIFF)