Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Watermark Scandal: Hear it From the Film World

This is an attempt to collect statements of filmmakers and film enthusiasts from around the country and world and see what they think of the watercrap watermark issue in SRFTI. Will also be adding comments from film students. Anybody who wishes to protest to this draconian law in SRFTI can leave their statement as comment. I shall update it as soon as possible.

Photo credit here. Poster created by author. Anyone can use or modify with or without credits.
Statement: "Of course it’s unheard of anyone dictating to put the producer's logo on any film. NFDC has never asked for it. Logo is not a part of any film. It’s only for publicity. Even DVDs don't carry it. Any mark on the film's print can only be decided by the filmmaker. Only television carries a logo while a film is telecast. Students should take SRFTI to court over this dictat."- Gurvinder Singh, filmmaker


My statement is a one liner. Compulsory water marking student films is wrong. SRFTI's name should obviously appear in the credits where it belongs and nowhere else. Students should have the right to make as many dvds of their work, as this is a part of their portfolio.
regards, anand

Statement: Watermarking a film with the producers name is just not right. It is a cheap and an unreasonable demand. This proposal from a film institute of all places is very shocking. A work of art should be respected and the film students should be given all rights to disseminate their films without any ugly watermarks. Leena Manimekalai, filmmaker, poet.

Statement: SRFTI should immediately revise its obtuse practice of demanding a watermark on students filmmakers' copies of their films! It's ridiculous that filmmakers are not allowed to keep a clean copy of their own work.
Anand Gandhi photograph courtesy

Full statement:

..every pixel, every glitch in every frame belongs to its creators..
The decision of a reputed film institute like SRFTII to watermark student films is unfortunate to say the least. What is behind this sudden urge to stamp the school’s identity in the films of its students? If it is to spread SRFTII fame across the world, the talents who come out the school and the quality of their films would do that; the credits at the beginning and end can very well proclaim it and so there is no need to deface every frame in their work for that. These shortsighted acts only reveal the dark shadows of ‘proprietary’ mindset which is not befitting a great public institution like SRFTII. The cineastes of the country urge the institute to reverse their decision and reaffirm the true spirit of education as well as creativity.
cs venkiteswaran
Picture courtesy

Full statement: I am a big narcissist but I feel that SRFTI is more narcissist than me. What if the director or a superstar one day decide let's have our watermark throughout the film. This is exactly like that. Imagine if all the people who worked in the films had their own watermarks throughout the film. The producer having their watermark is similar. It's shocking that this is coming from an institute like SRFTI which teaches cinema.

Statement: "It is pretty obvious to me that a filmmaker who values his/her work of art would not let an authority impose an unintended change to their work. Asking for watermark on one's film is just vandalism forced by the authorities and it is a crime against art."- Don Palathara, filmmaker.

 Full statement: I watched some films from SRFTI at a festival recently and was horrified to see the watermark. It’s not a question of how ugly the symbol looks but of the skewed nature of this mandate. A filmmaker’s work cannot be branded without consent. The producers can be acknowledged in unobtrusive ways. The watermark is an oppressive way of asserting ownership over creative work produced in an academic space. This decree is undemocratic and inexcusable. Prachee Bajania, Film Student, FTII, NID.

Statement: An art is a part of the artist’s soul. Yes, SRFTII/government fund all the projects, but how dare they justify messing every frame with their watermarked logo? Engraving the producer’s name/logo on an art is worse than vandalism. How can someone send such a crappy copy to film festivals around the globe. No other film school will ever enforce such a stupidity. Students should follow all the rules and regulations amended by the authority. Yes, point taken. But that doesn’t mean they can treat all the student directors who ask for a copy of their final year projects like estranged beggars pleading for money. As we all know, SRFTII faculty don’t give a crap about students who protest. But, imagine the situation of that empire, if the kid was not there to speak out loud that the emperor has no clothes. Protest against the atrocity of bureaucrats who are wasting our tax money. “United we stand, divided we fall.” KRNNIVSA students in solidarity with all the SRFTI students.- Georgy Abraham, Film Student, Kerala.

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