Saturday, April 1, 2017

Loneliness of a film

I am a jew in Germany, some where in the 1930s. There should be other things which concern me. Like the smell of genocide which wafts through the air. Will it arrive at my doorstep in a few years, months?

But, being fickle, I worry about other things. Like a film which remains largely unwatched. I remember the blood, sweat and tears of making it. Smell of fear, police men who delete footage, paranoia , hunger. Patches of poverty as you save up for another hard drive.

Now as the film sits alone in a corner, with hardly any audience, I wonder…which is the harder phase? There is no censor certificate, showing it has to be like walking on eggshells. Getting screening spaces is becoming harder and harder. Then, there is the panacea for all-an online release. But, being on the net means risking safety issues. So, the film sits alone, in the corner. These days it never gets up and comes to me with wistful eyes to know what I am doing about getting more screenings. I send emails and emails and emails.

Entering in festival circuit has meant over a 100 rejection letters. From dozens of different countries they write the same line, may be they get it from some template in the internet. “Unfortunately, we were unable to select your film to this year's edition of the festival. We had watched a large number of documentaries, which were carefully considered and the limited space in our program has forced us to make many difficult decisions.” I look at the vimeo link. The link was never played by some festivals. They screen the same films again and again, in a strange kind of film festival incest, blessed by PR managers.

 I walk alone through the tunnel, worrying about the film. I remember the man who travelled across with a rag tag projector and showed the films that theatres refused to show, creating a new audience. He died alone, penniless.  May be I should get a projector and go to places with a group. But, I don’t have the money for the projector, there is no group and most of all, I am not a man. With a bit of vomit in my throat I remember the progressive middle-aged film curator who had an almost 7 minute conversation with my chest.

May be some films are not meant to be seen. May be I should worry more about the impending genocide.

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