‘Digitalization has modified film-making world’

NAGPUR: To celebrate its 40th foundation day, film society invited independent filmmaker Rajula Shah to deliver a talk on ‘Changing Practices of Cinema’. The event was held at the AV room of Dinanath High School on Saturday.
Shah centred her talk around the digital revolution which has taken filmmaking by storm. Referring to works of filmmakers like from Iran and from Canada, Shah said that they had seamlessly shifted to digital.

Speaking about collaborating cinema with art, Shah said that lots of experiments were happening. “Filmmakers like are entering new spaces and negotiating cinema from there,” she said citing example of the 1998 film ‘Turbulent’ in which the filmmaker sets up two screens to juxtapose the privileged male and the oppressed female through music, which is a taboo for women in Iranian society. “Digital platforms helped in democratization of cinema and to protest also. Being a powerful medium cinema has always been subject to bans and censorships, but digital media freed it of these fretters,” Shah said.

The rising popularity of home videos changed the pace of cinema, according to Shah. “Watching cinema is now under viewer’s control. He can return to it as many times as he wishes to,” she said and added that the digital revolution has also led to image saturation. “People are now only looking at images on their cell phones or on billboards, nobody is looking at each other any more.” Referring to Orsan Welles’s docudrama F for Fake, Shah said that today the camera has turned the other way and people are looking at themselves.

The changing economics of filmmaking has made big walls of Bollywood crack, felt Shah. “Cinema is agreeing to go out and approach people, it is getting smaller and technology is bringing this change.” Shah ended her talk with a reference to her new media web interactive film around the walking pilgrimage of Warkaris. “I have made still frames into slide roll and have used sound and text. It is up to the audience to see the film the way he wants to.”

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