SINGAPORE — Artists, actors and film-makers from India and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries will collaborate on cinema projects by tapping cross-border talent and expertise.
Several initiatives across the spectrum of films and entertainment are in the works after a wide range of interactive sessions were held at the ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), hosted by India’s Ministry of External Affairs in Singapore from January 6 to 7.
“We are making progress on these initiatives with focus on working jointly on cinema and entertainment projects, involving mostly people of Indian origin from ASEAN,” said Sreyashi Sen, founder and managing director of Darpan Singapore Pvt. Ltd.
“It will be one of the largest cinema, cultural and entertainment collaboration for joint projects following the ASEAN-India PBD,” Sen said.
“We have built a big platform from the ASEAN-Indian PBD and we will work on building people-to-people contacts, as well as Indian tradition and cultural ties further,” said Sen, who hosted the ASEAN India Cinefest during the two-day meet of Indian diaspora.
The initiatives include a partnership between Singapore’s La Salle Film School and the film program in India by director Hansal Mehta.
“This program will work with cross-border film school students. We plan to host workshops and embark on certain remake rights for Indian films to be made into Southeast Asian production models,” Sen added.
Other initiatives on the anvil include an Indian origin Singapore student mentorship by film director and actor Satish Kaushik.
Impressed by Pavithran Nathan’s pitch for a short film, Kaushik will help the 25-year old student in producing a 15-minute showpiece.
“We have set a new direction for Indian shows and Southeast Asian talent, taking them to be part of the Bollywood, Tollywood and Kollywood,” said Sen, who has been working on Indian-Southeast Asian cinema and entertainment for more than four years through Darpan.
The ASEAN has a large population of Indian origins, with many migrating to the region in the early 1900s.
Countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia have deep-rooted cultural and traditional links to India.
Malaysia and Singapore have been the biggest hosts of Indian films since the 1950s. (PTI)