Reema Borah, an independent filmmaker from Assam and FTII alumni organized an 18-day long residential filmmaking workshop named ‘The Gaze’ in Uma Tumoni, Biswanath Chariali. The workshop started off on 14th July, 13 film aspirants from diverse backgrounds of different states of India participated in the workshop. The course was structured and designed by Reema herself and was coordinated by Mukul Haloi, another FTII alumni and filmmaker under the supervision and able guidance of eminent filmmaker Jahnu Barua. The participants were mentored by filmmakers from FTII and film scholars from various parts of India.
Gurvinder Singh, who is known for his critically acclaimed films like Chauthi Koot and Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan, started his session with the deep rooted aspects of cinema and its significance as an art. Starting from the elements of an image to the descriptive elaboration of a shot, he discussed every minute detail of the visual world. Payal Kapadia, a FTII alumni taught direction and scriptwriting. Her sessions focused mainly on writing for the visual medium and how literature and poetic writing differs from writing visually for a script. She illustrated the various techniques of representing abstract feelings through visual images.
Anirban Lahiri introduced the participants to the basics of cinematography. He briefed about the key factors of camera, lens and types of shots. Nistha Jain, who is known for her National Award winning documentary Gulabi Gang discussed the various aspects in the making of non-fiction and documentaries. Art director Abhijeet Das gave an interesting session on waking up one’s imagination and to fly beyond boundaries to design the visual frame. Pushpendra Singh, an ace actor and director who is known for his films like Lajwanti and Aswathama gave sessions on directing and working with actors. Suchitra Sathe taught the basics of editing and discussed the role of an editor in a film.
The participants were split into two groups and were asked to shoot two short films, each with a given theme. Starting from pre-production to post-production, they got to know about the various processes involved in filmmaking. Besides shooting their films, they had interactions and conversations with the resource film personalities, film screenings, and exercises on writing, shooting, sound and acting. After completion of their production, the films of the participants were screened in the Biswanath College Auditorium on 31tst July in the presence of eminent filmmaker Jahnu Barua, film critics and theorists Manoj Barpujari and Parthajit Barua. The event concluded with the screening of Reema Borah’s debut film Bokul, which recently received five awards in the Assam State Film Awards 2018.
By Anurag Barman