The Job Of A Filmmaker Is To Afflict The Comfortable And Comfort The Afflictedby The Daily Eye Team March 19 2014, 2:28 pm Estimated Reading Time: 6 mins, 0 secs
MUMBAI, March 14, 2014 – On Saturday, acclaimed Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, blockbuster Nigerian director of note Tunde Kelani, and Oscar-nominated American producer Stuart Sender joined forces to mark the one-year anniversary of the Global Centers for Health & Development.
The Third Eye hosted this historic convening of Bollywood, Nollywood and Hollywood filmmakers at its office in Andheri in order to celebrate the founding of the Global Centers twelve months ago. This network of centers—The Third Eye in Mumbai, GIST (Nollywood Workshops) in Lagos, and USC’s Hollywood, Health and Society (HH&S) in Los Angeles—was established last March, with the goal of inspiring and informing filmmakers around the world on important social, health and development issues.
From her office in Los Angeles, where she and her team work with shows includingGrey’s Anatomy and Homeland, HH&S director Kate Folb said that “we’re honored to be collaborating with such esteemed filmmakers as Tunde Kelani, Mahesh Bhatt, Kalpana Lajmi and Stuart Sender, and we are so thrilled to be celebrating our first year of success working with GIST and The Third Eye.”
“The Global Center Summit is an opportunity for Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood to come together and address the most pressing health and social issues faced by the different communities of the world”, said the host Vinta Nanda.
Mahesh Bhatt said “The three largest film industries of the world have come together to share and learn from each other. Suffering is what touches all of us in similar ways and empathy is what binds all of humanity together. Filmmakers are sensitive to the pain and respond to this suffering through their craft. What makes this group special is their commitment to adding socially relevant elements to mainstream cinema.”
“At ACEE, we believe that stories backed with solid research can create content which will enter popular culture and have a profound social impact. If a service like The Third Eye existed when I made Arth in 1983, I would have made the film differently. Today because I am able to deliver a play, which has become a big hit in its opening season, I am able to rewrite the character of the schizophrenic woman with greater sensitivity towards her, because of better knowledge of the effects a mental disorder like schizophrenia can have on an individual when ignored and when it is not attended to in time,” said Mahesh Bhatt, on the importance of accurate information in contemporary media.
The Third Eye, led by Vinta Nanda, is a project of the Asian Center for Entertainment Education. GIST is a program of Nollywood Workshops, co-directed by filmmaker Bond Emeruwa and Aimee Corrigan. Both programs are in collaboration with Hollywood, Health & Society, led by Kate Folb.
“The job of a filmmaker is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”, said the well-known Hollywood director Stuart Sender. Oscar-nominee Sender, who has been to India several times, insisted that this event in Mumbai celebrating the work of the global centers was too good to pass up. “When else are filmmakers from Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood all going to be in one place again, to talk about these issues?” he asked. “The great thing about being a filmmaker is the chance to be part of a global community of artists and to share with each other what works and what doesn’t—especially when it comes to telling stories that have something important to say.”
Attendees were in for another special treat: Tunde Kelani screened an exclusive 30 minute preview of his forthcoming feature film on sickle-cell anemia, DAZZLING MIRAGE.
“DAZZLING MIRAGE takes on an important health topic in Africa, and I’m looking forward to working with Nollywood Workshops, GIST, and the global centers on future productions.
We are the world, and the world is us. When one makes a film, one has to put in ones’ best effort as we never know where it might reach. We hope to collaborate with and learn from the Indian film industry,” added acclaimed Nigerian director Tunde Kelani.
A discussion followed the screening. The attendees included Kelani, Bhatt, Sender and Kalpana Lajmi who is soon going to be directing the film ‘Safed Doli’ which is being produced by The Third Eye.
Chris Dzialo of HH&S leads the Global Centers and participated in the event.
GIST/Nollywood Workshops co-director Aimee Corrigan also participated in the discussion. Bond Emeruwa, based in Lagos, expressed his excitement for his team to take part in this collaboration. “We are so proud to have a Nollywood filmmaker of Tunde Kelani’s status represent Nigerian filmmaking in Mumbai at this important juncture. It is heartwarming to note that more and more directors and producers are interested in using this very powerful medium to take on topics like sickle-cell anemia, malaria, maternal and child health, routine immunization, etc.” he said. “Truly the Global Centers could not have been founded at a more opportune moment.”
“The field reality in India is different from what we can imagine from an urban context. Women in rural India are changing. They are taking charge of their lives and working towards a collective consciousness leading to their own empowerment,” said acclaimed director Kalpana Lajmi.
Also adding to the day’s program were Ravi Walia, the producer of A Prayer for Rain, starring Martin Sheen, Kal Penn and Mischa Barton, who unveiled the trailer for the press. “Bhopal has an important place in Indian history and psyche and we believe this film is important for India and the world in view of recent environmental disasters…” he said.
The Global Centers are free on-demand resource centers that connect writers, directors and producers with top expert advisors—all for free. Offerings include site visits, customized location tours and phone calls with experts in the field of medical, legal, social development and human rights).
Filmmakers get the information they need to make accurate and compelling films and television programs, and audiences learn more about the issues that face their communities.
“The power of storytelling will always remain the single most sensitive and effective method of steering the process of change forward. We still narrate those stories to our children which our grandmothers told us and theirs’ told them, but in different ways, through film, through television, on radio, digital media and in the form of animation. Each time when a story is repeated in different ways through new technologies, it gains dimensions but the message remains the same. The message is always about the triumph of good over evil. There has never before been such a time, when reaching each of our stories to the farthest corner of the earth was possible. So let us do it with accuracy,” said Vinta Nanda, Director – The Third Eye.
The event promises to be an important stride toward more sharing between the global centers and therefore enhanced communication with the creative communities of Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood.