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Internet secures future of documentaries: Indo-Canadian filmmaker

New Delhi, Nov 26 The internet is a boon for short films and documentaries as it serves as a platform to grab more eyeballs, says Indo-Canadian filmmaker Keshhav Panneriy. He feels that the medium has exposed docu-dramas to a bigger commercial market and that the revenue generated through the domain also helps recover costs.

The filmmaker, a first generation Indian in Canada, is known for his documentaries like “Eternal Love 2013” and “Chemical Farming: Boon or Disaster?”

Documentaries in India were on the brink of extinction, but “today they have a much bigger commercial market and buyers than earlier”, Panneriy told IANS in an email interaction from Mumbai, where he is working on a new project.

“With so many technological advancements, there are huge numbers of online platforms and thousands of online film festivals which help documentary filmmakers generate revenue through each single click directed towards their film,” he added.

“Nowadays the narrative of documentaries has become more engaging, attracting larger audiences via the online medium,” he said.

Originally from Udaipur, Rajasthan, the filmmaker made Canada his base in 2004 by starting a film company, A.K. Films Inc. He came back to India in 2009 to establish the Keon International Film Academy film school, now based in Mumbai.

Apart from a gripping narrative, it’s imperative for filmmakers to resort to the latest technology to attract more moviegoers.

“I wish to give a movie a modern and updated take in terms of technology so that it can stand in an international podium,” Panneriy said.

The treatment of the film is another element which decides how the end product turns out to be, feels the filmmaker, who graduated in Film Production from the Toronto Film School, Canada.

“It all depends on the treatment, which sometimes makes a simple story look very beautiful. Otherwise, a good story can also appear flawed if not complemented with advanced technique and modern vision,” he said.

Now Panneriy is planning to make a feature film penned by US-based author Purnima Mead.

The film revolves round the struggle of an Indian woman, who dares to dream – and the hardships she faces in trying to achieve her goal. It also speaks about the way in which women are perceived in Indian urban society with its bias towards men.

Panneriy feels India provides the perfect backdrop for his film and is perfect to support the story.

“Where else do you think I would have found the ambience, the colours, the street noise, the traffic, the hustle and bustle, the order that we find in chaos, the mood… it is a story of an Indian woman; hence to bring in the original touch to it, India is the place (to shoot it),” he said.

The leading lady of the film still remains to be found. The director is looking for an actress who is willing to shed her glamorous avatar for the role.

“We are considering a face that does not have a screen image or one that may dare to break her screen image. The industry generally categorises a heroine as glamorous, arty, mainstream or so, but my actress should be the one who can be glamorous and strong with the same ease,” he said.

He further added: “We have approached a few Bollywood mainstream actresses and they are hesitant to accept the solo lead role because of their image. As soon as my team and I settle with a leading lady, we will let everyone know.”

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