New York/Mumbai media company Molecule Communications’ two-day Cinema Beyond Boundaries film conference, held Sept. 28 and 29 at New York’s SVA Theatre, lived up to its stated goal of encouraging global thinking among filmmakers, actors and musicians.
“I’m still getting emails from people saying how helpful it was for them,” says Ajay Shrivastav, co-founder of Molecule with his sister Kiren Shrivastav.
The event, produced in conjunction with New York’s School of Visual Arts and the Screen Actors Guild, was designed to educate attendees on the inside workings of the film industry via firsthand accounts from actors, directors, screenwriters and producers representing both Indian and American filmmaking; it was attended by film students and fans, aspiring actors, musicians, filmmakers and distributors.
“The goal of the event is to create a platform for global filmmakers and those involved in filmmaking, and to think of this creative process globally and not just restrict it to one country or culture,” notes Ajay Shrivastav.
Participants in the two-day conference included Bollywood screenwriter/producer/director Madhur Bhandarkar (credits including Fashion and Heroine), Don Peyote co-writers and co-directors Micheal Canzoniero and Dan Fogler, film composer Wayne Sharpe (Raajneeti), Serbian indie filmmaker Vladan Nikolic, Royal Pains TV actress Reshma Shetty and Indian-American actor Ajay Naidu.
Presentations ranged from how to get involved in independent filmmaking to producing and casting films. Film festivals were also a focus, as was the difference between American and Indian cinema: Noted Canzoniero, “It is important to develop a dialogue between eastern and western cultures as there is a lot to learn from each side. All in all there is truly only one type of cinema, and that is World Cinema.”
Next up for Molecule, Shrivastav says, is the second annual Fashion Fiesta for a Cause, for which Molecule selects a small nonprofit organization and helps it raise funds while connecting it to a larger donor base and gaining media exposure.
“Last May we worked with Betsey Johnson, Sandra Bernhard and Taylor Negron to help students of the Women's Education Project, a non-profit organization helping young women living on less than $1 a day in India succeed in college and careers,” says Shrivastav, also looking further down the road to the third installment of Cinema Beyond Boundaries.
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