What themes will the film cover?
Passion. Accessibility. Creativity. And more.
We Make Film explores how the protagonists got interested in film and video – where and how they watched films as kids, if they studied filmmaking formally, and the journey so far. It also looks at the present – what they’re making now, the challenges they’re working to overcome, and the support of their family, friends and colleagues. We Make Film also tries to understand issues like negative social attitudes, inaccessibility of films, workspaces and technology, and informal innovations that help make things work.
Where is the film based?
The crew will be travelling across India – Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane (west), Kolkata (east), Thrissur (south) – to collaborate with the protagonist filmmakers.
What is the film duration?
As of now, the film is expected to be about 60 minutes.
When is the film shoot and release?
We Make Film goes into production in March to May 2018. It is scheduled to release in 2019.
What is the visual style and feel?
We Make Film is a conversational, up-close and personal exploration of the protagonists’ lives. It explores challenges and barriers, but steers clear of a pitiful or sympathetic gaze. The film will present the protagonists’ stories as filmmakers first, and layer it with their connected experiences as people with disabilities, as women, and so on.
The film will be born out of a collaborative process with the protagonists, so the final product will reflect an exchange of audio-visual ideas and narrative styles. It will also be a reflexive film, i.e., the director will be reflecting on her own experiences (and privileges) as a non-disabled filmmaker, to see how filmmaking journeys converge and diverge at certain points.
How did this idea come about?
I worked with one of the protagonists, a deaf graphic designer, for illustrated panels in my debut film Accsex. As expected, it was a stimulating and professional creative process. I tried looking for more diverse contributors for my next two films, and it was striking how difficult it was to find professionals with disabilities in the usual film networks. So I took up this relatively unexplored topic for my film and research, to start a conversation about this everywhere.
Can you tell me more about your research on disability & filmmaking?
You can read more on the research here for a better idea of the timeline, main themes and theoretical debates that inform this film.
How will it actually help the filmmakers with disabilities? Any real impact?
By now, you might’ve realised that this film is as much about the people as it is about their social, cultural and economic environments. With screenings of this film, we hope to garner national and international interest to organise an advisory group for the the creation of future inclusive opportunities. This will consist of diverse stakeholders, including the protagonist filmmakers, who will help develop a policy pathway in India. This will also connect and contribute to ongoing discussions on filmmaking by people with disabilities across the world and especially, in the global south.
But before all that, the film process creates a participatory opportunity for protagonist filmmakers to contribute to the film substantially and take something back from it! More when you watch the film.
I want to ask another question. How do I get in touch?
Write in at s.s.ghosh[at]pgr.reading.ac.uk with your questions, thoughts and ideas. More contact details here.