Travel deep into India for great stories says filmmaker Bharat Bala

Award winning filmmaker Bharat Bala called upon filmmakers to travel deep into Indian territories to find stories disappearing due to globalisation.

The Chennai-based filmmaker, whose recent work Maryan which was received mighty well, was speaking at a master class on India, the Land of Stories at Bengaluru International Film Festival.

Bala, popularly known for his feature films Maryan and Hari Om talked about his ambitious project to make 100 short films on untold stories from the hinterland of the country,

The audience got to experience his short film narrative with the screening of four visually rich films, each celebrating ethos of the culture explored in a short duration.

Muthuvan Kalyanam a visual lyric on a traditional tribal marriage in Silent Valley, Kerala, stood out as a metaphor for the filmmakers quest in search of stories.

As per tradition, the bride is placed in the heart of forest and the groom is challenged to find her; if he wants to marry her. The groom has to find the bride and the filmmaker his story.

“India is the land of untold stories. Many of which, are on the verge of extinction. These stories are part of our lives and by celebrating them, we uphold the pride of our land and culture,” he said.

Though his stories are small in scope and content, the visual and background music are on a par with any feature film. Bala said he spent an entire day on a five second shot in the movie.

And the result is a breathtaking scene where the camera focused on the newly wed tribal couple zooms out to show a hill and then a surrounding forest before dissolving.

The boat race in Alleppey Valley, a ritual in Tamil Nadu and traditional music in Punjab formed subject of the three other movies.

“My target is to make 1000 such movies for an India Film Collective. I am investing in 100 of them and 56 are complete,” he said.

He said he was waiting for the day when theatre audiences would get enthusiastic about watching such stories.

Film on Mattur

Bala said a film on Mattur, a village in Shivamogga where the entire population speaks in Sanskrit, is in post production stage. “Karnataka, like other states, will have 50-60 stories. I invite you to suggest such stories from your land,” he said.

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