Govt needs to support aspiring film-makers

Govt needs to support aspiring film-makers
Highlights

Arif Lalani is a first generation film-maker from Hyderabad who has seen the highs and lows of the film industry and is awaiting the completion of a script for his debut feature film, which would be shot in Africa and India.

Film-makers have huge expectations from the newly formed government in Telangana. Arif Lalani, a young dreamer from the city, too, wishes that the State creates an ecosystem for nurturing young talent from the region

Arif Lalani is a first generation film-maker from Hyderabad who has seen the highs and lows of the film industry and is awaiting the completion of a script for his debut feature film, which would be shot in Africa and India.

 Arif Lalani

However, Arif is toying with the idea of shifting base to Mumbai. Having gone through various struggles as an aspiring film-maker, he believes that the State government should look at neighbouring states such as Karnataka and Maharashtra which offer subsidies and a fixed quota of theatres to encourage local film-makers. He suggests that the Telangana government should also support local talent so that they can create a niche for themselves at national and international fora.

Captivated by the camera right from a young age, Arif joined a film institute – Gemini Digital Academy in Mumbai. “I was at sea after I finished the course in six months. I felt that I had developed my skills and decided to pursue a course in filmmaking in the US.”

With a masters degree in fine arts from New York Film Academy, California, Arif began his career as an assistant director for a Telugu film in 2002. He has since worked on eight Telugu films, three Hindi films, an English production and various commercials.

“The US academy maintains a tight schedule from 9 to 5 and the students are supposed to shoot a film on weekends. On day one, a 16mm camera was given to each student and we were explained how to handle it in case something went wrong,” recalls Arif. He said the course had laid a solid foundation as it dealt with fundamentals -- camera, lighting, scripting and casting.

On his return trip, Arif brought a 5D camera and underwater camera equipment to the city. At that time people were not familiar with the 5D Mark II camera and digital films. His idea of an underwater film did not click with the Telugu film industry. After six months, he decided to explore the market in Africa and found out that there was huge potential for music videos in Uganda.

“I produced 22 music videos. Some of them featured underwater shots. They became popular in Uganda. Later I was also involved in an English production,” he said.

His music videos made the film industry realise his potential and, subsequently, he was offered to work with films such as ‘Love Cycle,’ ‘Jai Shriram’ and others. In a span of two years, he worked on eight Telugu films and three Hindi films.

The young film-maker doesn’t believe in formula films. “I can’t think of making a love story. The films should offer something new to the audience. The present generation is tired of watching formula films as even big budget movies bomb at the box office. The audience is looking for fresh fare. The government can play a positive role by encouraging new film-makers,” says Arif.

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