Indie filmmakers are entering a golden period where they can now make films on almost any subject. They are rising above taboos and breaking down social, moral and cultural stereotypes. Today, budget is no longer a constraint as corporate houses with fat purses are also willing to back them up.
But there are critics who say there is too much bare flesh and gore that independent filmmakers use in their movies to titillate hedonists and they are giving rise to a form of pseudo-culture. There are still others who say that indie filmmakers don’t have to fulfill expectations of their audience and are not liable to their producers as a result of which they are free to choose any subject.
But new-age independent filmmakers reject such allegations outright, calling them “unfounded” and “politically motivated”. They say that in this corrupt, egocentric, bigoted and violent world, they are the only remaining ray of hope, working for the redemption of the decadent society. They are fighting every day to establish the principles of equality and liberty. The backlash is at times, extremely violent, but the fight for justice continues.
Has the social change really taken off?
Independent filmmakers feel change has really perpetuated. They cite the social changes taking place in the Arab countries and other places in Africa from the beginning of the Arab Spring. There are filmmakers who are documenting the atrocities committed behind the iron curtains of communist countries in Latin America or the war crimes in Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan. Many indie filmmakers are putting their lives in the path of danger to raise social awareness and also palliate the pain and the sufferings of the victims.
There are filmmakers who are working in the rural states of India to raise a hue and cry against female feticide and the skewed sex ratio. They are talking out against the kangaroo courts and basically any form of entrenched patriarchal hegemony.
A huge awareness campaign has been started for demanding equal rights for the LGBTQ community, mostly led by independent filmmakers. They believe that gender or sexual orientation doesn’t define you completely. They are trying to change stereotypical notions and questioning class and gender divide. Women protagonists and all-women cast are slowly becoming common, thanks to indie moviemakers. They hope to annihilate misogyny.
Usually, independent filmmakers who work for a cause are young, idealistic and extremely well-read people who are aghast by the steady moral degradation. They say that films are only a microcosm of society. They are just reflecting the stark reality. Thanks to the easy availability of film-making apparatus and inexpensive post-production software, today, anyone can become a filmmaker and challenge the power-centers even in the darkest corners of the world.