Veteran actress Shabana Azmi has praised crowdfunding platforms in India, saying they have given opportunities to many emerging filmmakers to pitch their stories forward.
The 66-year-old star, who was here to attend the 10th edition of NFDC Film Bazaar and also to seek distributors for her upcoming film "Idgah", says through open source contribution, many stories have been able to find a space. "It's an amazing thing how crowdfunding has actually made it possible for young filmmakers to make films.
There have been very good directors and photographers, who have come in with no money just because they want to be in India. There are all these unconventional ways which are opening up for the first time filmmakers here," Azmi told.
The actress advised the filmmakers to always not focus on the larger partnerships and instead look out for small funding.
"The filmmakers need to realise that rather than having huge partners, who can contribute in bulk, what you really need to see is that you have to tap all the various small partnerships. You have to get funding the unconventional way if it's not very star-based," she said.
Azmi said up-and-coming directors shouldn't screen their films for free in the festivals as it loses the attention of the audience. "Young filmmakers are so keen to take their films to the festival circuit that they keep showing them for free. Don't dot hat. You can raise money from small things and you can easily recover the amount if your film is small. Even if it's a screening or it's about USD 500 per screening, you do that and that's how you get noticed."
The actress is looking forward to her film "Idgah", based on the short story of Munshi Premchand. "It is a very heart-warming story and we're hoping to ways which are opening up for the first time filmmakers here," Azmi said. "But, it's not being pitched as a children film. It's a universal human relationship. So, we hope that it would appeal to all sections of people," she said.
The film will mark the directorial debut of Piyush Panjuani. When asked whether she was confident about working with a first-time director, Azmi said, "In the beginning, I was very reluctant. I didn't 100 per cent want to do it. But, Piyush constantly persisted me. And, I somehow sensed that he wanted me in the film genuinely."
The actress said Piyush chose her not because he wanted to add a star value to his first film but he sincerely believed that she would be the best for the role. "He wanted me in the film, not because of the commercial value that I was going to bring but because he saw me in the film. "I didn't understand it because I couldn't see myself fitting into that character but he was so clear in his mind."