Way to Go
2012 was the year when the campaign for ‘The 0ne Rupee Film Project’ was launched. The film is actually titled ‘Aashmani Jawaharat aka Diamonds in the Sky’. Since its launch, the project went on to create waves across India. Never was a marginal film so much heard, read or shared about. It became a part of ‘The Goa Project’ in March, 2013, ‘Shortbusters, Bangalore’ in November, 2013 and the ‘Indiearth Xchange’ in December, 2013. It was featured in the ‘1st Kolikata International Film Festival’ that took place in September, 2013. Except these, the film has been a part of the Mumbai Film Mart at the Mumbai International Film Festival, 2013 and also Film Bazaar at International Film Festival of India, Goa, 2013. Till date Anamitra has four shorts to his credit and a crowd-funded feature, Aashmani Jawaharat (popularly known as the One Rupee Film Project) as a director and more than a dozen as an editor.
First things First
I was introduced to a completely new world of cinema and filmmakers. When I say new, it’s because I am a huge fan of Bollywood and Bengali cinema. When I say a huge fan, it encompasses cinema from the 70s, 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Coming back to the topic, George a classmate of mine, used to keep cinema nights at his place where we used to watch films made by Godard, Fellini, Antonioni and the mass favorite, Wong Kar Wai, Mrinal Sen , Satyajit Ray , Rithwick Ghatak and the Japanese legend Kurosawa . Post film interactions used to continue till sunrise and we all used to go back home and google about the said filmmakers and their journey.
I grew up in Calcutta and my first cousin produced Mrigaya directed by Mrinal Sen in 1976. I never knew that one day we will be seeing independent movies and crowdfunding in a big way. Today, crowdfunding is used by film-makers, charities, technology companies, even football clubs, for projects that would otherwise struggle to get off the ground. The independent movie scene in India or, as it is colloquially known, the ‘indie’ movie scene, is one that has been slowly but steadily gaining acclaim over the last couple of years. These indie movies arose as a result of the parallel cinema movement in the country and to put it simply, are those movies which are funded independently and made outside the realm of the major studio systems. They circumvent the traditional Bollywood formula of song, dance and fanfare, instead concentrating on the filmmaker’s personal and artistic vision.
Diamonds in the Sky- A Cinematic Masterpiece
None of the best Indian independent films would be complete without this cinematic masterpiece, written and directed by Anamtira Roy. One of the strongest elements of ‘’Diamonds in the Sky’’ is the way it embraces everyone irrespective of religion, community, class, economic background and gender. His experiences on this journey and the mind-sets he came across have been cleverly shaped in the form of imaginary characters and sequences. More often than not, you should try and watch Indie films that you know would find difficulty getting a distribution in place. Films without stars, but having an interesting story or concept that you find fascinating. ‘Diamonds in the Sky’’ is going to be a film on the independent Film Scenario of India. It is a touching story without being sappy and over romantic; in fact, its subtlety is what draws you into the plot. This is clearly understood in Vox Populi 4: Kolkata’, where Anamitra describes a character in his film who is an MBA graduate friend of his. Anamitra first expresses his wish to direct a feature to his friend Prateek. Prateek insists to include explicit sequences in his film, since such elements bring the film to notice and may also facilitate getting a few awards for the film. The reference here is probably towards Kaushik’s film ‘Gandu’, which though being an independent film has come into notice because of these very reasons. He clarifies to Prateek that there is no such person in reality; he is rather the embodiment of a specific mind set of commercialization. Only those who come with a sincere heart and thirst for knowledge are able to apprehend the true essence of the film.
Close Resemblance to Reality
There’s hardly a moment when your attention gets affected. ‘’Diamonds in the Sky’ ’on one hand uses all these metaphors on how a film gets made, how characters are developed etc. and it also indulges the audience in what is real and what is not. It tries to ask us if art can be original. Or in an even more broader concept it is about a filmmaker or artist wanting to express his ideas, but then like the police officer the moral police comes into picture and puts pressure on filmmakers on how they should make a film, or on what topic they should make a film etc. Had it been a director of less calibre it would have been a mess. He now comes across as a director who is now confident about his story telling skills.
2015 would certainly be a memorable year for Anamitra. ‘’ Diamonds in the Sky ’’ reaffirms the fact that Anamitra Roy is a director to watch out for.
It is a classic, unique, and wonderful movie. Don’t forget to watch it.