In-Conversation Session titled ‘Dazzling the Screen’ discusses the vital role of designers and make-up artists in the film industry

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Goa, 24 November 2023


In-Conversation session titled ‘Dazzling the Screen’ at IFFI 54, Goa today delved into the vital roles played by production designers, costume designers and makeup artists in the cinema industry in crafting of creating memorable and visually captivating films. Dolly Ahluwalia, Vaishnavi Reddy and Preetisheel Singh D’souza – three accomplished professionals in the cinema industry- participated in an illuminating and engaging conversation conducted by NFDC in association with Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI).

Setting stage for a thought provoking session, Dolly Ahluwalia, Costume Designer and actor said that though production design, costume design and makeup are the most hardworking departments in film making, people are still not able to associate much with them the way they associate with actors. Dolly Ahluwali, the Costume Designer for films like Bandit Queen, Vicky Donor, Haider also touched upon the magic of layering and un-layering in makeup and costume designing. “In order to un-layer the image of an actor, the makeup artists and costume designers have to add a layer of character to the actor”, she said.

Dolly Ahluwalia also recalled that most of her learning in costume designing and make up come from the observation of nature and surroundings around her. She added that one has to be honest for the visualisation to transform into reality.

Accomplished production designer Vaishnavi Reddy behind many critically acclaimed films like Ghajini and M.S Dhoni-The Untold Story, said that cinema is a collaborative effort completely driven by the passion of the team members.

Detailing the fine nuances in production design and set making, Vaishnavi Reddy said that it is not just a set design but a reality which is trying to be recreated in each film. “The production designer has to stay with the mood and genre of the film. It is a different kind of marriage between the director and production designer”, she elaborated.

Reflecting upon the hard work behind every character design, Preetisheel Singh D’souza said that the process starts while reading the script itself. “While reading the script a persona is created about each character in our mind. Every set up has a story behind it. Though the script allows vast space for us to work, at the end of the day it is the director’s call”, she said.

Having worked with luminaries like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Ranveer Singh and a host of other celebrated actors, character designer and make-up, hair and prosthetic artist Preetisheel Singh D’souza has sculpted characters that linger in the minds of audiences. With over 60 movies to her credit, including huge blockbusters like Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, Pushpa and Jawan, her expertise has been integral to the success of numerous cinematic masterpieces.

Sudhir Srinivasan, Executive Editor (Entertainment), The New Indian Express and a reputed film critic moderated the session.


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PIB Team IFFI | Sushil/Bibin/Darshana | IFFI 54 – 054

Source PIB