8th Edition of India Film Project saw Vicky Kaushal, Kartik AAaryan, Vikram Aditya Motwane, Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, Kaneez Surkha, Mallika Dua, Anand Tiwari, Ashish Chanchlani, Bhuvan Bham, Prajakta Koli, Hansal Mehta and many more were present at the 8th Edition of India Film Project! A fabulous opening ceremony was experienced as well known Vicky Kaushal became the show opener for the festival and charmed the audience with his humorous and interpersonal storytelling. He shared anecdotes from his life and gave a verbal glimpse of his journey to becoming India’s most admired actor. But most importantly, he opened up on #MeToo, calling it “a beautiful, cultural shift” and said, “It doesn’t matter if its one day or 10 days or one year or 10 years for a woman to come out and share her story” Kaushal said.
The next session saw the erudite Vikramaditya Motwane, Rajeev Masand and Baradwaj Rangan discuss the nuances of film critiquing and how there should be quality control when it comes to both making cinema and writing film reviews online. They discussed how reviewing films for millennials has drastically transformed and Instagram is easily accessible for everyone to know what others think about a certain film. They also discussed how Sacred Games became a commercial breakthrough for and he said,“It shocked me when people called Sacred Games a Blockbuster.”
Talking about comedy, three renowned comedians of India came together to talk about Comedy in India and how our jokes are a low hanging fruit. Mallika Dua, Bhuvan Bam, and Kaneez Surkha interacted with the audiences and answered their questions while calling out online trolling and moral policing. They shared their anecdotes on how they handle virtual hatred and admitted to having received death threats. They do realize their social-responsibility to bring out content that doesn’t hurt anyone’s communal sentiments, but they did call out the hypocrisy amongst Indians.
Mallika Dua said “Hate is different on the Internet, especially when talking about basic things such as reproduction. Tinder pe sab hai. Par Tinder aunty se problem hai.” Kaneez spoke about the introduction of comedy genres apart from Stand up in India and she said, “Comicstaan commercialized Improv, and introduced other genres of comedy other than stand-up.”
Next up, ace director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari shared her experience of working with Swara Bhaskar, Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao. She also shared her experience of heading a team of 6 boys while she headed a team at an ad agency. On being asked about women entering the industry and how they are treated she bluntly put it: “I don’t choose people on the basis of their sex or gender but on their talent. Currently, there’s almost a 60:40 proportion in my production team.”
The highlight of the day was engaging in a video conversation with Academy Award-nominated Alexander Payne. His session was full of some great pieces of advice for budding filmmakers, who are on the threshold of Cinema. He explained how screenplay writing, editing, directing and music all follow a rhythm. He said “When in doubt, be brilliant.”
Day 1 concluded with Kartik Aaryan gracing the stage in conversation with Ashish Chanchalani where he got candid about his struggles prior to becoming an actor. They discussed his famous monologue from ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ and how ‘Sonu ki Titu ki Sweety’ raised him to superstardom. The two had super fun together and jested with the audiences as well which made the crowd go gaga. Ashish Chanchalani admitted to be an Akshay Kumar fan while Kartik Aaryan said “Shah Rukh Khan is my favorite, he is everybody’s favorite. He is an inspiration. He was an outsider who carved his niche. He is a superstar. A self-made superstar”. On being asked what if he didn’t become an actor what was his plan be, he honestly put it across: “I always wanted to be an actor. I had no plan B.”