How I made it: Imago (2018)
Imago is a story about a girl, Namrata who is a shy, introverted teenage girl living in a small village with her mother and grandfather. She is suffering from leucoderma or vitiligo, a skin abnormality. White spots on dark skin have set her aside from others. Weird, sympathetic, penetrating ‘normal’ eyesights have made her feel guilty and embarrassed for who she is and how she looks. One fine day a young and vibrant teacher joins her school. A fine young man with a strong belief in freedom and self-pride, he creates space for Namrata to breathe freely
95 Mins | Marathi | Drama | 2018 | India
In its persistent mission and zeal to promote good cinema, the Indian Film Institute brings you the experience of Directors of the film - Karan Chavan & Vikram Patil
Why this subject matter for your film?
This is subject is very close to my heart. We wanted to depict the psyche of people with skin conditions and how beautiful they are. We didn't want to be information-heavy, but we wanted it to be a journey tracing their psychology. The film captures a range of character's experiences and emotions from bullying and self-doubt to infatuation for her teacher.
Imago was selected at INDIA STORY section of the prestigious JIO MAMI Mumbai film festival with Star in 2018.
Where did you find this story for this film?
One of our subjects in college was to click portraits. I also knew one friend who had vitiligo, who was very beautiful, but she kept refusing to let me click a portrait because she did not feel beautiful. We later decided on this subject for our debut. We started working on the project in 2014 and shot the film in Kolhapur for over 30 days.
What were the challenges you faced in making the film?
Film preparation involved detailed conversations with doctors and people with a skin condition. We wanted to understand the psychology of these people. We didn't want to make it a documentary. But just a film about how they live their lives and how people react around them. One of the biggest hurdles we faced was casting our teenage lead. We wanted to cast a character who had the condition, but most of them hesitating to play the role. After much deliberation, we finalized Aishwarya Ghaydhar for the role. She also attended workshops to get used to the camera.
Did you face any problems in releasing the film?
Yes, we faced many challenges in post-production and distribution. As a Marathi filmmaker, I also faced the same problem as others in getting theatres. Nowadays it's difficult for Marathi movies to get theatres. As result producers and directors face loss and delays in the release of a good film. In my point of view if we overcome this problem then the Marathi film industry will thrive. OTT platforms are really good for indie filmmakers so we decided to launch it on Netflix online platform.
What was your background before making your first film?
I have 5+ years’ experience in filmmaking, Video Commercials, and contemporary art. Also did several short films that won prestigious awards. I have a working knowledge of contemporary art- sketching, oil and acrylic paintings, installation art. I have experience in Production Design- Film Set Design and Film Set Construction and Execution - Karan Chavan.
How do you think filmmakers like you can overcome common challenges like finance and distribution?
In our case funding emerged as the next big hurdle, until a local producer from Kolhapur came on board. When we decided to make the film, we hunted for producers for over a year and narrated them the story. But most of them rejected it as an art film. But through Vikram's contact, we came in contact with a local producer. He was very open-minded and gave us a go-ahead. We faced many problems during the distribution phase as we couldn't find a good distributor. Finally, we decided to go with Aviraj Film Entertainment Pvt Ltd., And mutually we decided to launch our movie on an online platform.
Previous Festivals Screened and awards
1). Official selection for NFDC Film Bazar IFFI, Goa 2018 2). Official selection for Mumbai International Film Festival (MAMI 2018) 3). Best Director Award winner at Kolhapur International Film Festival 2019 4). Best Lead Actress award winner at Kolhapur International Film Festival 2019 5). Best film Public Choice award at Kolhapur International Film Festival 2019 6). Honorable Jury Mention Award at Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival 2019
7). Selected for First Time Filmmakers session @ Pinewood Studios Hollywood
8). Official Selection For Jagaran Film Festival 2019
How to reach the Directors
Watch the film here - Imago
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