Film competition irks aspirants

The academy says the competition aims to promote the “regional culture and talented film makers of the state”, however, filmmakers say many of the criteria for the competition are flawed.
To being with the Academy has asked for short/feature/documentary films.  Filmmakers contend that while Short and Feature refers to the duration of the work, Documentary is a genre.
“If it refers to the running time then it should be short, short feature and feature. If it refers to the genre, then it should be Non Fiction, Fiction etc. How can it be clubbed together,” says Mushtaq Ahmad, an independent producer.
Ahmad adds that if the entries are for ‘Feature’, how can the Academy put a duration limit of 30 to 60 minutes? Features length refers to films of more than 72 minute duration. The Academy has put a duration limit of 30 minutes for non-fiction works and 60 minutes for fiction.
According to the Academy four awards will be given, – first two to best two films, of Rs 25000 and Rs 15000, and two more awards with cash prize of Rs 10,000 each to best director or producer. Winners will be selected by the selection committee, appointed by the Academy.
The question filmmakers ask is how the committee can arrive at the best work among a diverse genre. Like how is it possible to judge between a fiction and a non- fiction work, and then arrive at the winners.
The Academy says that the films must depict regional culture of state and should be censored and telecast on Doordarshan or any satellite channel.
However, independent filmmakers feel dismayed.
“What about independent films which are made by film makers on their own without any support. If the competition is to encourage real talent why this bias against people who pursue passion without any support? What about students’ films,” questions Ahmad.
Another independent filmmaker Shabir Ahmad alleges that the Academy has put the “flawed” criteria deliberately to favour a certain section of film makers.
Aspirants are also annoyed by other conditions fixed the Academy, which they find “confusing”. Like, the Academy says the film maker   must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of the entries. Shabir asks how one can be an author of the film. “If copyright of the film is not with the producer then? In most cases directors have no copyright, what about them?” he adds.
There are other also other apparent errors. While asking for the works to be submitted in DVDs/CDs the Academy has not mentioned their number. It puts a limit of two entries per person, without explaining if all or which one of the entries will be cancelled if more than two works are submitted by an aspirant.
It also seems to ask for the postal address, and telephone number of the film.

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