In mid October of 2017, we received an invite from the Association of French Cinematographers (AFC) to make a Presentation on ‘Indian Cinematography’ as part of their Annual event ‘Micro Salon’, for a Seminar slot called ‘Carte Blanche’.
The invitation provoked some of us into seeing this as an opportunity to collate thoughts around this theme.
As we all know by now, given our schedules and varied approaches this was never going to be easy to get off the ground.
Anyways to cut a long story short, the film got made through some tireless/thankless work from the core team.
We developed a historical background through footage sourced from NFAI and NFDC then quickly moved to a contemporary discussion. Debate moved around the theme of what constitutes our identity, our working conditions, our films…
The Film includes interviews with both young and older DPs starting with Govind Nihalani and Ramchandra Babu all the way upto Pankaj Kumar and Avinash Arun. Although we would have liked to have many more Cinematographers speak their mind on these issues, the list was limited by delivery deadline, individual schedules and resources.
It got screened at Carte Blanche in January 2018.
Govind Nihalani, Sunny Joseph, Ravi K Chandran and Savita Singh attended the event.
They came back with happy stories of their visit, the screening apparently went really well.
Richard Andry the current President of AFC wrote WICA an e mail sometime after the event, which is quite overwhelming.
It is attached for all to see.
The film was Directed by Karan Bali, Cinematography: Anirban Lahiri, Editing: Dipankar Sarkar, Sound: Shantanu Yennemadi, duration is 45 minutes. Check with WICA for a screening:
First, I want to thank you, although you unfortunately could not join us, for the great warmth, strength and wit you personally gave to the ISC carte Blanche 2017.
I had the honor to stand by Govind Nihalani, Savita Singh, Sunny Joseph and Ravi K Chandra during their stay and I appreciated the quality of the persons, their intellectual and artistic masteries in cinematography, their warmth and open-mindedness. After three days with them, visiting Micro-salon attending and moderating carte Blanche, I was very sad leaving them on Sunday afternoon after our visit to the exhibition « From Méliès to 3D” at the Cinematheque.
On Saturday morning, The Carte Blanche with the Indian cinematographers was a true success. AFC received other estimated foreign societies in the previous years but from the audience’s opinion
this one was the most accomplished one. Beyond the quality of the speakers and particularly Mr Govind Nihalani’s, the film you specifically designed and produced for this event, much applauded
even ovationed, strongly impressed the audience and generated such a positive word-of-mouth quickly spreading in the alleys of Micro-salon and Femis, targeting everyone who were busy somewhere else during this screening or colleagues shooting on location, everyone asking if it is possible to screen it again.
This film is not a demo-reel, as we used to see the most of times in cinematographers society’s presentation, this is a collective mastery lesson, through the special cinematographic point of view of the History of the Art of picture, from the Antiquity to the digital times. It shows us the richness of the artistry and talents, the theoretical considerations of those involved in the future of cinematography, the dynamism of Indian Cinema and its strength. As I wrote on the ISC Facebook Page : Viva Indian Cinema. Please congratulate the director and everyone participates to produce this little gem of a film about.
Dear Anil, Be assured of my highest consideration and admiration for your talented artistry
With best wishes
President of the AFC
Association Française de directeurs de la photographie Cinématographique
Association of French Cinematographers