National Award-winning filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh says engaging an audience must be the priority for any artwork, and the technicalities come later.
The Kahaani director is in support of a short films award -- Critics Choice Short Film Awards (CCSFA) -- constituted by the Film Critics Guild's. Ghosh believes critics' opinion on films are personal and subjective, whereas for the viewer, engagement is paramount.
Asked about how he sets the parameters for critical analysis of a movie, Ghosh told IANS here: "The first and foremost thing for any artwork is engagement. Later, we scrutinise every department of a film - screenplay, performance, cinematography and more because a technically perfect film at times fails to touch our heart. The first criteria is how a story holds our attention."
The Film Critics Guild is a registered association that brings film critics from different media like print, radio, broadcast and web portal with an intention to streamline the ethical and quality standards for film criticism in India.
As a film director, does the opinion of a film critic matter to him?
"The way I see film reviews is that a critic is an individual who has an opinion on a film, which means the view is very personal. There is nothing right or wrong assessment of the work that I, as a filmmaker, may or may not agree with. As a storyteller, that should not be a factor for me to keep in mind when I am making a film for a larger audience.
"However, I believe that evaluation of any piece of art whether it is cinema, painting, music is very subjective," he said.
CCSFA will be held in December. Names like Sriram Raghavan as well as critics like Anupama Chopra and Rajeev Masand have come on board for choosing the best short film.
Getting a producer for a short film can be quite a task for budding filmmakers because any short film does not generate box office revenue in the entertainment business.
Asked if giving award will give these new filmmakers a feel encouraged to make more short film content, Ghosh said: "Recovery of any investment can happen either in cash or in kind. So, as a producer, if I am investing in a short film that later goes on to win an award based on its merit, then that is also a return of my investment. This is how we can go forward one at step at a time."