09 May, 2021

Early Bird Auteur

A surge of young directors seems to have breached the walled city of cinema

Do It Yourself
Filmmaker Rima Das on location with her trusted camera
Early Bird Auteur

About five years ago, Pawan Kumar raised Rs 51 lakh from about a hundred strangers ­using the Internet to shoot ­Lucia. The Kannada film turned Bangalore’s plodding cinema industry on its head, much like what Kumar did with the film’s plot. During filming, at one point, he even had to tell people it wasn’t a scam, that he was actually making a film. Back then, however, Pawan wasn’t exactly unknown. He was 30, he’d worked on three film projects ­and had already directed his first ­feature film Lifeu Ishtene.

Cut to 2017, the newbie everybody is talking about in regional cinema is in his twenties, with no film industry background. But he’s someone who discovered how things can work out with that free tool, the Internet. No brainer, you’d say. Something like that cheeky scene in Oru Vadakkan Selfie (2015, Malayalam), where a film-crazy, engineering-misfit (played by Nivin Pauly) finds out that in this digital era, filmmaking is not the big deal it used to be. Smug about making his first short...

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