FREEING THE FILMMAKER
THE WEEK|January 30, 2022
Filmocracy, a Kerala collective, is making cinema a possibility for many young indie filmmakers
NIRMAL JOVIAL

In 2012, Babu Gangadharan, a Bengaluru-based advertising professional, came to Kerala with the dream of making his first feature film. While the pre-production phase went smoothly, he started losing control over the project as soon as the first schedule of shooting commenced.

While he wanted something that belonged to the world of independent films, the production controller took the project down the commercial filmmaking route. “Film sets in India are generally people-intensive,” says Gangadharan. “Artistes and technicians would bring (their own) sets of assistants. I envisaged a smallscale film, but still, the set had at least 85 people. A crowd that detested indie films hijacked my project.”

After eight days of shooting, Gangadharan stopped the film; his producer (one of his close friends) lost close to ₹30 lakh and had no more money. The heartbreak forced Gangadharan to think about young filmmakers like him. And, this was his solution: Create a fully equipped film unit and make it available to promising talent—for free.

Gangadharan, who is active in the film society movement, also co-founded Collective Chaos, which promotes alternative cinema. So, he shared his idea with friends within the film society movement. “The idea was to democratise filmmaking; thus, we formed our non-profit collective—Filmocracy—in 2016.”

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