01 June 2024 •  #

From Goa to Cannes – BHERA screened at Cannes Film Market

QUICK BITE - ‘Bhera,’ a Malvani/Marathi film, directed by Shrikant Prabhakar, that was shortlisted and screened at this year’s prestigious 77th Cannes Film market, the film’s ADR Recording work was completed at Don Bosco institute, Panjim's BOSKON Studio in Goa.

Amid the celebration of India’s rising prominence at Cannes this year, it’s essential to acknowledge Goa’s significant contributions. Goa has provided a picturesque backdrop for numerous films and nurtured a vibrant film culture through its International Film Festival of India (IFFI). Now, ‘Bhera,’ a Malvani/Marathi film, directed by Shrikant Prabhakar, that was shortlisted and screened at this year’s prestigious 77th Cannes Film market, the film’s ADR Recording work was completed in Goa. This achievement highlights Goa’s growing prominence in the film industry, showcasing its capability to support high-caliber projects. ‘Bhera’s’ success at Cannes celebrates regional cinema and highlights the valuable contributions of Goan studios and professionals in bringing world-class films to international audiences.

The film director Shrikant Prabhakar mentions, “As this film was entirely shot in the Sindhudurg district, with all actors hailing from the same area, we sought the best dubbing studio nearby. Knowing that Sindhudurg lacked such facilities, we extended

our search to Goa. Our priority was not only to find a well-equipped studio but also to ensure the sound engineer was highly experienced and an expert in his/her field. This search led us to Boskon Studio. Given that the film is a realistic drama and features mostly new actors, achieving high-quality dubbing was both special and challenging. After visiting Boskon Studio and meeting VJ Xavier, we gained the confidence that we were in the right hands.”

Boskon Studio was started by Fr Joaquim Lobo and VJ Xavier at Don Bosco Institute, Panjim. It’s an exciting news that a film which did the whole Advanced Dialogue Replacement (ADR) post production here in Goa is selected in the most prestigious festival of Cannes. The sound designer, VJ Xavier states “There are a lot of techniques used in post-production to get the sound you are looking for. In addition to that you also need great equipment to capture and reproduce it, which we have here at Boskon studio. We are well equipped to handle all post audio and music production for feature films. We tried to keep the film’s dialogue recording in its natural settings using distance and environment to achieve depth in the dialogue replacement. I am sure the actors will never forget their experience as it wasn’t easy.” Also, a bunch of Don Bosco Sound Engineering students had the opportunity to assist in the studio for this film. The institute is screening the film for their students to celebrate this success.

The film ‘Bhera’ explores the unexpected challenges of the Covid-19 period through unimaginable incidents. It tells the story of a lonely woman in a remote Konkan village who finds solace in forming a mother-son bond with an orphaned, mute, and deaf boy. This poignant narrative highlights their unique connection amidst the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic, offering a touching portrayal of companionship.

For the director, conveying this sensitive narrative was crucial. The challenge of capturing the authenticity and emotional depth of these characters was significant for this debut film project. The characters and their life events needed to be depicted with genuine spontaneity that resounds powerfully. To maintain regional authenticity and realism, meticulous attention was given to every technical detail, starting with casting and locations. The film strives to address the emotional and physical gap brought by Covid-19, employing both dialogues and spatial design to achieve this aim. ‘BHERA’ captures the essence of an extraordinary period while embracing the authenticity of human connection. The director said, “Author Prasad Khanolkar’s story penned an unimaginable possibility to me.”

The sound designer of Boskon studio, Panjim, VJ Xavier is euphoric after this success. He states, “Goa has a great market for anything creative. It has the perfect all round feeling and natural environment meant for creative minds. But as far as technology is concerned, it’s far behind as of now. The problem is also in the understanding, people cannot realize the value of mediocrity and class. There is so much music out there which anybody and everybody is doing now while the quality is terrible. Though today digitally you can do everything in the box (Computer) you still need to understand your basics and have a trained ear.”

In Goa, this Don Bosco Institute’s studio is the only one with a hybrid setup of both Analogue and Digital. To encourage students who are inclined to learn Sound Design, they are providing exposure, knowledge and training. The Boskon Studios have a sound engineering course which was started so that youngsters and also professionals working in this field have a hands-on approach and learn to understand the concepts of sound engineering, may it be live or studio work.

VJ Xavier reflects that “The government needs to get the right people for the jobs so they can suggest the right plan of action for the future in the creative fields. There has to be a vision. 90 percent of the work happening at Boskon Studio is from outside of Goa. Locals need to realize what we have here and take advantage of it. Now that a Goa based sound design studio is capable of sending films to prestigious festivals, the perspective of the people will change, that is a great feeling.”

The film director Shrikant Prabhakar is absolutely satisfied with the studio and their outcome. In his opinion, the quality of the studio equipment alone doesn’t matter, as there are constant technical upgrades. What truly matters is the expertise and

the sense of the person operating the equipment. The quality and capacity of a studio are directly proportional to the type, quality, and volume of work being produced.

In Goa, basic song recording studios are plentiful, yet only a select few provide advanced equipment and proficient sound engineers for film projects. With the burgeoning growth of film production in the region, the demand for studios meeting elevated standards is inevitable. Consequently, Goa is poised to witness a surge in such studios, catering to the needs of an expanding film industry and ensuring the availability of top-notch facilities for filmmakers.

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