An ode to independent filmmaking

Published: 18 September 2020 - 6:18 a.m.
By: Nikhil Pereira

I made a promise to myself when I set off to write my editor’s column: the moment I make a mention of the coronavirus or the pandemic, I’ll tear it up and start over with a different topic.

There, is just mentioned it again, tsk tsk.

Jokes apart, I wanted to address a topic that’s close to my heart: the art of independent cinema. I’ve always gravitated to independent filmmaking styles, which is one of the reasons I opted for videography as one of my majors during college.

I recall in an interview with Anurag Kashyap, arguably India’s best independent filmmaker, he kept telling me he rather disappear into oblivion than get into the mainstream.

In a sense, Kashyap is responsible for taking indie (or parallel cinema as it’s referred to in India) and give its rightful place besides Bollywood.

Through my interactions with Karim Kassem, our cover feature for this issue, I realised the importance of keeping the flame of creativity alive.

His views on independent cinema resonated with what Kashyap said to me the entire afternoon I spent with him in 2009.

So often, in a race to remain sustainable as a business, we take up work that we might not be 100% passionate about. It’s like a conveyor belt, churning out commercial after commercial for different clients.

We rarely come in contact with clients who let us be ourselves, and interpret the brief through our own creative lens.

I’m not against commercial work, or projects that are templated with a set budget from an executive producer. We need them to survive as creatives in this industry.

All I ask is, if you are someone of repute in the industry, and you realise that there are production houses that could benefit from your expertise, give them that helping hand.

Art Format Lab’s Khulud Abu Homos talks about collaborating with big names from time to time. Sometimes it takes one day to shoot a pilot episode, but that show could go on to greatness.

Let’s remember why we got into this business, long live the spirit of collaborations and independent art forms. Feel free to get in touch by dropping me an email at

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