Theatre & Films Productions

Is Mauritius Film Development Corporation Re-inventing itself?

It has been fresh news to me to learn that since 1st July, the Mauritius Film Development Corporation has a new Director. And maybe this institution is waking up from a deep sleep?! Apparently the vague of the new l’alliance lepep Government is having its soldiers rewarded by running govt. institutions backed by fat salary? Or maybe i had missed the advert for this post in the media?

Well, I got a hint of “MFDC” name when seeing an army of cameramen at the recording of the national drama festival 2015 finals. This was something very strange, more than 6 cameras!! Previously there used to be a max of 3 cameras, or during the ‘MBC crisis’ days, in order to cut cost, only one cameraman used to come, controlling 2 cameras – 1 for wide shot and the other for the custom shot.

Secondly, got to see for the first time, an advert in the form of e-mail marketing on behalf of MFDC! amazing!

Mauritius Films Development Corporatoin

 

Well, had the opportunity to attend on sat. 1 aug. 2015, my first event organised by MFDC. I only recall in the past that MFDC used to organise ‘Short Films Festival’ in 1998-1999, where had the opportunity to participate in same. It was a nice opportunity to be amongst the Mauritian Film making community. Some crew members of ‘Lombraz Kann’ were present. A film student from UK was also present,  as well noted actors, journalists and film / theatre lovers.

 

Shabana azmi mauritius

 

During the questions/answers time,  had the opportunity to ask one question to Indian Cinematographer Baba Azmi. As a student in films productions, I asked for his advice on the top skills that aspiring Mauritian cinematographers need to develop/cultivate over time. Baba was well placed to answer this as his vast experience in the film industry – telegu films, tamil films and bollywood mainstream commercial films: Dil, Tezaab, Mr. India, Akele Hum Akele Tum and Pukar

He is the man, behind the wonderful shots of:

Well, one of the precious advice that i would retain from Baba is “watch comic books”, the way the shots are composed can be helpful. He advised to read the comic book Prince Valiant.

Amongst the audience there were interesting and less interesting questions as well.. Nalini A. asked a question to Tanvi Azmi about how an actress can afford to have her head shove off in order to portray a role in the upcoming movie ‘Bajirao Mastani‘ by Sanjay Leela Bansali.  Tanvi’s answer was heart touching and inspiring for all actors as well “An actor has to get out of his/her own comfort zone”.

Apart from that, I was also surprised by the intervenants in the audience sharing with us that in 1998 Indian Filmmaker Romesh Sharma conducted a survey about the viewership of film Made in Mauritius. The result was very poor. Instead Romesh Sharma made a TV serial ‘C’est la Vie’ which was a success with a viewership rate of 97%.

Film Studio in Mauritius

Romesh sharma also used to have a ‘Cloud 9 Studio’ at Arsenal, but unfortunately i think it is in ruins as the Mauritian Film Industry has never taken off, for years…

I wonder what the MFDC people have been been doing all these years till now?!

Assizer bez kas?

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3 responses

  1. The survey was not conducted by Romesh Sharma. It was a project work by his son Karan for his IB examination. RS helped and participated in the project.I read and partly supervised it.
    The work revealed many plus and minus points in the release of films in the country…e.g very low turnout in halls..not enough to encourage even a low budget ..less than Rs1 m to breakeven, etc but when shown on local tv for free,viewership could turn around 97 per cent but hardly anything for the maker,time slot not available to local makers on local tv,etc.
    That was years ago.

    It’s time for a fresh in-depth study on the viability of filmmakking in Mauritius…. Do we have sufficient local audience to at cover returns on investments, remunerate people, etc and market the product locally and abroad? What should be the language ? etc etc.

    Reliance on foreigners to launch the sector will not help. Foreign filmmakers come here to enjoy the rebate scheme, talk big and shake hands, receive golden handshakes and leave…look into the rear view mirrot and you’ll realise what I mean.
    The local film industry can emerge only by locals. We need to talk. But who will bell the cat?

    2 August, 2015 at 9:48 am

    • Our local audience constitute mainly of housewifes watching tv serials…or man watching english premiere league and mbc journal 1930

      2 August, 2015 at 1:11 pm

  2. Very true. But that’s no good enough reason to ignore the importance of local cinema in the life of a country. Let’s work together to bring about a new mindset.

    2 August, 2015 at 5:48 pm

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