Make IFFI More Interactive : Jai Hogg


By Aditi Desai and Aliya Abreu

Jai Hogg’s suspense thriller ‘Tailgate’ (2015) reflects the kind of movies coming out of Australia in recent years: commercially driven cinema. Says Hogg, “avant-garde cinema is rare in Australia because film-makers are trying to survive in a commercially driven set-up. A film-maker has to make a choice between showing what he wants and risk missing out on an audience, or making what the audience will watch.”
Hogg has previously directed Sunset (2008) and Tinted (2009). He says they are character driven, and not an extension of his personal experiences. ‘Tailgate’ was written with actors Peter Marshall and Samuel Young in mind. “I never really thought about casting other actors for the roles, as I knew beforehand what Peter and Sam were capable of, as actors. It’s a little bit like how Steven Spielberg likes to work with Tom Hanks, I guess. Besides, I knew that Peter and Sam would allow me to fulfill my vision for the film.”
“I’ve looked to Hollywood for inspiration for my films,” says Hogg. “And I have a lot of respect for Edward Norton, he is an intelligent filmmaker who shows both sides of the story.”
Screen Australia, the federal government’s key funding body for the Australian film production industry, plays a significant role in Australian movie-making. Hogg holds that distributors in Australia don’t know what they want. “The distributors need to choose one film from a hundred, so they do not readily commit to a film even if it’s good, as they don’t know how well that film will fare with audiences.”
Hogg was effusive in his praise for IFFI 2015 saying he absolutely loves it, and how much India embraces film. He does have a suggestion though: “I think the festival could be more interactive. I hope IFFI can arrange for all the filmmakers to meet in one place. Other than the panel that I got to interact with today (which included filmmakers Brian Perkins, Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, and Kalpana and Vindana Ariyawansa) I hardly met anyone else.”

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