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Aspiring directors, take note. Onir gets real about the struggles of independent filmmaking

Wake up and smell the coffee — then drink it and get to work. Indie filmmaking is hard, but not impossible

Sreyashi Mazumdar @Sreyashi27 26 March 2018, 5:50 PM
Indie filmmaker Onir's journey hasn't been an easy one

Indie filmmaker Onir's journey hasn't been an easy one Image: Facebook

Independent filmmaking is a bigger gamble than mainstream filmmaking. Though the entire idea of doing something out-of-the-box can be pretty fascinating, it requires a lot of effort and patience to make it big as an independent filmmaker. So, if you aspire to be one, better get a clear picture of the what it takes to get the act right. And who better than Onir, to take you through the struggles of an indie filmmaker?

Talking about the problems independent filmmakers face in this day and age, Onir told a news agency, "Earlier, the merit of the film used to speak for itself, along with the word of mouth. But now the fate of a film depends on its first-weekend performance. We are competing with big studio films, star-driven films at the multiplexes. We are fighting with publicity, marketing and the new practice of paid news."

Onir feels that the problems of independent filmmakers have changed over the years but have not ended. Earlier it was the making of the film which burnt holes in one's pocket, now it is the selling of the film which is a Herculean task, monetarily that is. 

There are times when indie filmmakers hang their boots and take to something which is more commercial. But for Onir, whose latest venture Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz got positive reviews, that hasn't been the case. For him, a good story comes first. The quench for doing something new keeps him going.

"For me, a good story comes first, and good actors. I am not saying stars are not good actors. I have worked with some of the great female stars who are willing to experiment with their craft," he added. Onir also said that producers are keen on investing in stars and not the script, so that kind of makes the process of filmmaking all the more difficult. But the My Brother... Nikhil director maintains that he will keep making films despite all odds.

"For films like ours, which are neither star-driven nor big budget, what brings people in the theatre are good reviews. If people are talking about the film, and it is getting positive reviews and praise from influential people of the fraternity, people get interested to watch them. So, reviews matter to us," the National Award-winning filmmaker said. 

So, all the aspiring filmmakers out there, amp up your zeal to make it big and be ready to hit the rough roads. Independent filmmaking isn't easy, but don't give up on your dreams yet. Take a cue from Onir. 

Read more: 

I'm tired of people asking me why a love story: Onir on Kuch Bheege Alfaaz

Padmaavat is not homophobic, says filmmaker Onir

My idea was never to make a sleazy, controversial film, says Onir on Shab


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