~Asia’s Largest Content Creation Festival~

~Ardent Filmmakers from across the world come together to celebrate cinema by sharing their shorts at India Film Project~

~Filmmakers from Houston takes the cake, while chaps from Mumbai grabs the most awards~

~Celebrating the best Content Creators of India only at IFP~

The concluding day of the India Film Project saw celebrities like Ayushmann Khurrana, Shikha Talsania, Sona Mohapatra, Nidhi Bisht, Rajshri Deshpande, Film critic Anupama Chopra, Prajakta Koli, Ali Fazal, Benny Dayal and many more, adding their magic to the 8th edition of Asia’s largest Content Creation Festival.

An all-women panel including Shikha Talsania, Nidhi Bisht, Rajshri Deshpande, and Sucharita Tyagi opened the show steering the conversation towards how to create a cultural impact by breaking taboos and devise a progressive change. Rajshri Deshpande highlighted that women should not be considered to be the weaker sex by saying, “Every woman is strong and that’s exactly what I portray.” As the conversation proceeded they also discussed the hatred they receive on social media commenting on their physical appearance, reacting to which Nidhi Bisht joked “Social media manners should be introduced as a new subject.” Their personal experiences and insights enlightened the audiences towards the bias women face in the industry and how gradually, women are breaking the glass ceiling.

In the next session, Mithila Palkar and Dhruv Sehgal arrived at IFP basking in the success of Little Things season 2 and discussed what emotions went into writing and enacting for the web series. They both spoke about their process and Mithila shared, “I take too much ownership of my character Kavya sometimes but then I go back to Dhruv. I follow my writer diligently.” The audience was in awe and showered their love on these two actors leading the Digital pack.

Anupama in conversation with RS Prasanna, Raj Nidimoru and Mayank Shekhar spoke about if Bollywood’s woke blockbusters comprehend sensitivity. They discussed the deep-seeded misogyny in the Indian film industry by drawing a comparison with the 80s where women were treated as a commodity. She appreciated how handful of women are working today in films, but still felt there’s a long way to go. Together, they also bashed the ‘item song’ culture. She jested, “Girls and guns that’s what makes a movie run.” She also feels men are objectified too, but it’s comparatively lesser. RS Prasanna was vocal about his love for his love for Kamal Hassan and how his father introduced him to global cinema at the age of 6! He shared an anecdote of the time when he got a reality check as a filmmaker when his father slept while he screened his first film. That’s when he realised he needs to up his game.

Furthermore, Anupama Chopra, Rahul Desai, Bhawana Somaya, Bharati Pradhan in conversation with Jyoti Kapur Das discussed the future of Short films at length at IFP. Anupama said, “We really want to celebrate short films, because believe me we see a lot of crap.” She also added, “We as an audience have to go out and watch better cinema if we want better films to release.”

Singer Sona Mohapatra infused energy in the audiences as she reviewed how 2018 was for music overall. Usually known to speak her mind, Sona didn’t hold back her opinions and spoke about #MeToo and #TimesUp saying, “With #MeToo and #TimesUp I feel like a militant so I dressed in military colors.” She also said “There are plenty of good guys here so you shouldn’t keep mum about #MeToo” to motivate men to strive for equality. Sona also shared a personal account pointing out misogynism in the music industry. She closed her talk with the song ‘O Ri Chiriya’ to promote equality of sexes, not just the music industry but the world.

Ali Fazal, the youngest member of the Academy Awards, shared his Hollywood adventures with festival director Nikhil Taneja. Ali shared his anecdotes of how Victoria and Abdul made him more humble. He also recalled his experiences about working with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in Fast and Furious 7. He said, “The first thing I said to Vin Diesel was ‘Guru Kya Haal Hai’” which tickled the audience’s funny bone. He also spoke about the #MeToo movement and said, “Bollywood has hierarchical system. #MeToo movement empowering people to not be scared of this hierarchical system anymore.” He also shared that he is directing his next film, which may be a Hollywood project!

Furthermore, the talented singer Benny Dayal shared that “I debuted as an actor & studied filmmaking and I shoot all his videos on my own. Recently, I shot two videos in just 24 hours.” Everybody was amazed at this revelation. Actor, Kunal Roy Kapoor spoke more about how the OTT platform is growing and virtual reality is the next step.

Ayushmann Khurrana arrived at the festival with his charming smile for the last session. Ayushmann is an actor looks into all aspects of filmmaking from scripting to editing to marketing to apart from acting in the film. He is indeed one-man army. On doing quirky films, he commented “My friends now call me Purusho ki Grahshobha.” The crowd was in spilts. Talking about his process he also said, “I consume a script as an audience member. If I am enjoying a certain reading I will do it. I am not a selfish actor. I am attracted to the scripts which generate value also and entertain as well.”

The show concluded with IFP’s main event 50-hour filmmaking contest received over 1700 short films with 35,000 participants from over 20 countries and 300 Indian cities; the highest participation the festival has seen in the last 8 years! Jury members Sudhir Mishra, Milan Luthria and R.S. Prasanna lauded the efforts made by budding filmmakers.

The winner of the Mobile category is Shit Happens by Gayathrie from Chennai followed by runner-up Checklist by Sailesh Kolanu from Sydney. The third, fouth and fifth position were grabbed by Sheshank Kishore Mishra, Janam Shah, and Marripeddi Vinay, Viveka Vardhan respectively.

The winner of the Amateur category is, Sveekaar by Sayandip Sikder from Kolkata followed by runners-up, Digikal by Siddhant Kala and Netru Indru Naalai by Madan M. And standing at fourth and fifth position were Maggi Readyyyeeaah? By Dhananjay Gandotra, Wake Up! by Rishab Joshi and Bungee Jumping by Aditya Chandrashekar

Topping the last category of the Awards Night – Professional went to The First Drag by Harshad Mahadeshwar from Houston, the USA, followed by runners-up - Dabba Gul by Kushal Verma (Mumbai), and The Event by Aditya Sharma (Ahmedabad), and standing at the fourth and fifth places respectively are Kaali Peeli Ride by Sayan Dasgupta, and Metronome by Akash Singh.

Festival Creative Director Nikhil Taneja said, “Over 2 days, more than 50 conversations featuring 100+ of the brightest talent and stars from the film, media and entertainment industries, around 10,000 young people took away insights, learnings, and stories from Season 8 of the India Film Project. This forum is of, for and by young content creators, and we are elated with the overwhelming response from them. The youth is leading the way to change and movements online and offline, and we are so proud to be the one-stop festival that gives them a platform to create, collaborate and celebrate content!”

The second day of IFP mostly saw women taking over, as most of the panels were women-dominated. #Narivaad aka feminism was quite prevalent highlighting the positive steps being towards achieving pan-sexual equality of opportunities. India Film Project is indeed Asia’s Largest Content Creation Festival and one of the largest creative collaborations in the world. The 8th season of India Film Project aims to be the ultimate destination and platform for writers, storytellers, poets, composers, filmmakers, cinematographers, and editors to let their creativity be recognized and thrive.