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18th MIFF Celebrates Cinematic Brilliance with ‘Beyond Boundaries’ In-Conversation Session

Mumbai: The 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) witnessed a captivating In-Conversation session titled ‘Beyond Boundaries,’ featuring celebrated filmmakers and cinematographers R.V. Ramani and Sunny Joseph. This insightful dialogue immersed the audience in the artistry and philosophy of cinematography, offering profound insights and thought-provoking discussions.

Opening the session, Sunny Joseph underscored the essence of originality in narrative cinema, invoking the wisdom of social reformer Sree Narayana Guru with the aphorism, “One who loves, lives.” He likened cinema to “love 24 times per second,” emphasizing its role as a powerful medium for reflecting societal nuances and aspirations.

Joseph, known for his meticulous approach to documentary filmmaking, highlighted the importance of respecting subjects and their environments. Drawing from his mentor G. Aravindan’s teachings, he advocated for minimal intrusion during filming, stressing the significance of understanding the subjects’ language to capture authentic emotions and rhythms.

National Award-winning filmmaker R.V. Ramani shared his perspective on cinematography, emphasizing the importance of empathy towards subjects and settings. He described how spontaneity and unplanned moments often lead to transformative cinematic experiences. For Ramani, the essence of a shot unfolds naturally when filmmakers immerse themselves in the film’s thematic essence.

Both filmmakers delved into the evolving landscape of cinematography, with Joseph praising technological advancements in digital cameras for enhancing creative freedom. He encouraged young filmmakers to embrace experimentation, lamenting the decline of experimental films in contemporary cinema.

Ramani raised concerns about the increasing fictional elements creeping into modern documentaries, particularly those on streaming platforms. He argued against over-scripting, suggesting that a strong concept and filmmaker’s vision should guide the narrative without compromising authenticity.

The session was enriched with video clips showcasing excerpts from Joseph and Ramani’s acclaimed works, including Devathakal, Piravi, Children of Mini Japan, A School of My Own, Beyond the Wheels, Face Like a Man, and Windfall of Grace. This blend of visual artistry and intellectual discourse left the audience deeply inspired and reflective.

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