As Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival provides a platform for many debutante and independent filmmakers to showcase their work, juries believe that the future of cinema does not rely on box office success but in digital space a good story.

Talking about the potential of upcoming filmmakers jury member of International Competition category Christine Vachon told IANS: “Most of the films of my category were by debutante international filmmakers and I am quite impressed.”

“The best part of watching a debutante’s work is the strong storytelling style. They mainly focus on the story, the story drives the film,” she added.

Seconding Vachon’s thoughts, Mychael Danna said, “What amazed me is the diversity of storytelling, which included non-narrative, comedy, tragedy, documentary, etc. For more than 70 years, Indian film has been known by its narrow genre- Bollywood. Now things have changed for the better. The diversity is reflecting on films now, this is great!”

Highlighting on the variety of stories, renowned film critic Stephanie Zacharek (Jury, India Gold) said, “India Gold section was one of the well curated section where subjects were so vast. What unifies them is the human experience it offers.”

He added that in a country like India where projection of physical intimacy is a taboo, watching films on complex subjects like gay relationships or empowerment is encouraging.

“In the West, it has been perceived as song-dance-melodrama affair, which is great. Nevertheless, these stories also exist in India and the international audience should watch them. I am very hopeful about these filmmakers,” Zacharek said.

While most independent films struggle for a theatrical release according to Christine the future of cinema is not in a theatre.

“The future of the cinema may not be in a movie theatre. In some way, we have to stop calling ourselves filmmakers, and start calling ourselves storyteller,” she said.

However, the responsibility to grow independent cinema is not only on filmmakers but also on the audience. Since piracy is the cancer of movie business, experts urged audience to choose their experience and pay for it.

“Film is more like music. You can either download music online or go to live concert. But can you replace the experience of a live concert by downloading music’ No! Film should also be like that. If you want to support independent film, buy a ticket or download from official sites, instead of pirated copies,” said Christine.

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