It has been fresh news to me to learn that since 1st July, the Mauritius Film Development Corporation has a new Director. And maybe this institution is waking up from a deep sleep?! Apparently the vague of the new l’alliance lepep Government is having its soldiers rewarded by running govt. institutions backed by fat salary? Or maybe i had missed the advert for this post in the media?
Well, I got a hint of “MFDC” name when seeing an army of cameramen at the recording of the national drama festival 2015 finals. This was something very strange, more than 6 cameras!! Previously there used to be a max of 3 cameras, or during the ‘MBC crisis’ days, in order to cut cost, only one cameraman used to come, controlling 2 cameras – 1 for wide shot and the other for the custom shot.
Secondly, got to see for the first time, an advert in the form of e-mail marketing on behalf of MFDC! amazing!
Well, had the opportunity to attend on sat. 1 aug. 2015, my first event organised by MFDC. I only recall in the past that MFDC used to organise ‘Short Films Festival’ in 1998-1999, where had the opportunity to participate in same. It was a nice opportunity to be amongst the Mauritian Film making community. Some crew members of ‘Lombraz Kann’ were present. A film student from UK was also present, as well noted actors, journalists and film / theatre lovers.
During the questions/answers time, had the opportunity to ask one question to Indian Cinematographer Baba Azmi. As a student in films productions, I asked for his advice on the top skills that aspiring Mauritian cinematographers need to develop/cultivate over time. Baba was well placed to answer this as his vast experience in the film industry – telegu films, tamil films and bollywood mainstream commercial films: Dil, Tezaab, Mr. India, Akele Hum Akele Tum and Pukar.
He is the man, behind the wonderful shots of:
Well, one of the precious advice that i would retain from Baba is “watch comic books”, the way the shots are composed can be helpful. He advised to read the comic book Prince Valiant.
Amongst the audience there were interesting and less interesting questions as well.. Nalini A. asked a question to Tanvi Azmi about how an actress can afford to have her head shove off in order to portray a role in the upcoming movie ‘Bajirao Mastani‘ by Sanjay Leela Bansali. Tanvi’s answer was heart touching and inspiring for all actors as well “An actor has to get out of his/her own comfort zone”.
Apart from that, I was also surprised by the intervenants in the audience sharing with us that in 1998 Indian Filmmaker Romesh Sharma conducted a survey about the viewership of film Made in Mauritius. The result was very poor. Instead Romesh Sharma made a TV serial ‘C’est la Vie’ which was a success with a viewership rate of 97%.
Romesh sharma also used to have a ‘Cloud 9 Studio’ at Arsenal, but unfortunately i think it is in ruins as the Mauritian Film Industry has never taken off, for years…
I wonder what the MFDC people have been been doing all these years till now?!
Assizer bez kas?
The Ministry of Arts & Culture organised this year’s Residential Drama Workshop on 10 till 12 April 2015. Directors of all around the island were invited at the newly constructed ‘Lady Sushil Ramgoolam Recreation Centre’ at Pointe aux Piments. This year, the focus was on ‘Technical Aspects of Theatre’. For those of you who missed it, here is a nice video montage by Arts Officer ‘Stelio’ Personally, I was very satisfied with the overall organisation. Had the opportunity to learn about several technical aspects ranging from ‘Artiste Makeup’, Sound Design, Set Design, Curtains for Open Air Stage/ Hall, last but not the least ‘Lighting’. As the Senior Arts officer emphasised, the Ministry is regionalising National Drama Festival in order to allow the audience to come to their nearest hall in the locality after work hours to watch the preliminaries. This has several implications on the organiser’s side as well as the participating group’s side who are used to do preliminaries at Serge Constantin Theatre. I had the opportunity to meet new Rodriguan friends and was amazed by their talent in performing one-man show. Also got the chance to perform with a talented female tabla player and to accompany Stelio, who is the amongst the king of vocals!