Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A Being in Bhuj

This was the second time that we had been to Kutch as part of the Non-Fiction Filmmaking course in the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. When there, I went through a lot of learning about how a lot of things about non fiction filmmaking work. I had gone there with a completely different intent for a film, and came back with something that even I did not expect. However, in the meantime, a lot had transpired. I had gone there to make a film about Dholavira, an ancient Indus Valley Civilisation site in Kutch. However, after reaching there, I got disillusioned after watching the research footage that I had shot, and seeing the conditions more or less the same. So I thought that it did not make any sense to make a film where one could not really see anything in the frame. I had known, and Identified by then the proverbial "mistakes" that I had made in the first trip and first non-fiction film that I made, about BhojaBhai Meghwal. This time when I had gone there, I was armed with a more potent understanding of Non-Fiction film. This time, however we were given certain assignments to understand how camera and shot taking works for non-fiction film as opposed to fiction. This is how our trip here began. I made an attempt at it, and decided to just feel the moment that I was shooting. This was well received and appreciated by faculty as well as colleagues. I then, after the disillusionment from Dholavira, went and spoke to RV Ramani, one of India's most prolific and admirable non-fiction filmmakers, who was our guest faculty for this trip. After having discussions with him, I decided that I will make a film about the place I was living in, Bhuj. In certain ways, I tried taking the camera excercises forward, and in someways, tried to find a BEING IN BHUJ. There were times when I could achieve success in the path I had chosen, and sometimes when I failed miserably. But this was the biggest learning experience of my life for sure. This is what came out of it.

Kunal D

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