Documenting The Clockwork Of A Fan's Mind
Posted on 6 January, 2017 by Team Wishberry
For The Love Of A Man is a documentary that explores the fandom of superstar Rajinikanth. Directed by Rinku Kalsy and produced by Joyojeet Pal, the documentary was crowdfunded in May, 2015. Now a few months later, they share everything that has happened - right from the crowdfunding experience to what they’re up to now. Check out their pitch video HERE!
Give us an update on all that has happened since the crowdfunding success?Since the Wishberry crowdfunding success, we have already had the film fully edited. The music is being composed right now for some scenes. And we are getting edit consultancy from Iikka Vehkalahti, Commissioning Editor for the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE Documentaries, Finland. And Menno Boerema, who teaches editing at Nederlandse Filmacademie and IDFA summer school among others. "For the love of a man" – is also selected at the Venice International Film Festival, and will get its premiere there. We hope for more European broadcasters to come in once the film is ready! We have also started applying to various film festivals worldwide.
Your last film, Mila’s Journey, pays homage to romance, adventure, spirituality, freedom and female independence. That's quite different from For the Love of a Man. How did you stumble upon the concept of fandoms? What was your inspiration behind something so unique?The idea came when Joyojeet Pal (Producer of For the Love of a Man) was working with Microsoft Research in Coimbatore district on a project working on children's access to computers, and he found that Rajnikanth's role in Sivaji as a software engineer was a big factor in encouraging children in rural Tamil Nadu to want careers in computer science. This made us think about just how important the influence of Rajnikanth was throughout the state - where anything he did on screen was taken so seriously by people in the state. Joyojeet and I are friends of many years, when we discussed this finding, I as a filmmaker figured that the role film stars have in shaping peoples' opinions on major life choices is huge in parts of Tamil Nadu. This got us thinking about the various ways in which stars like Rajnikanth manage to appeal across age groups. So we started researching, and in 2010, while I was in Amsterdam, I read in a online Indian newspaper that Enthiran was releasing. And I instantly decided, if I must know more about this phenomenon, I must head to Chennai and see for myself what a Rajinikanth first day first show looks like. I booked my ticket on the spot and 2 weeks later I was in Chennai.
Each of your documentaries cover such varied themes, where do you get the inspiration from?I am an avid documentary watcher. One of the first unique documentaries I ever saw and was totally immersed in was a documentary from 1929 titled “Man with a Movie Camera” by Dziga Vertov, and I was mesmerised with the whole non-fiction genre non-narrative form of story-telling. Vertov used varied cinematographic devices to tell his story, although in totality the film was without a plot, but each long shot, or a sequence of edited shots told a story. In similar vein, when I saw the 1982 Godfrey Reggio’s film “Koyaanisqatsi”, a film on the collision of urban life, technology and the environment. So I guess this was my initial inspiration, that there are stories everywhere.
I do not believe documentaries need to be only an information form. It can and should borrow from other forms of cinema.