Two Indian social media consultants, Avinash Kalla and Bhaskar Pant, plan to release “Twittamentary India”, a film made in collaboration with Singapore-based documentary filmmaker Tan Siok Siok. Like Siok’s 2012 original “Twittamentary”, the new film will take a look at the Twitter community with the help of people on the social media website. “Twittamentary India” will explore the interactions that politicians, journalists and ordinary people have on Twitter in the country.
(Also read: Twitter in India to come alive in new documentary)
Arnika Thakur spoke to Siok about social media, “Twittamentary” and how India became the first country chapter. Edited excerpts from the interview.
Q: How did “Twittamentary” happen?
A: The motivation for making the film came about from my own experience on Twitter. I was kind of an early adopter and I came on Twitter in 2007, before it became mainstream … When I first started using it I thought it was quite inane. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be doing this … But when I started using it, I was amazed by the connections I was able to make, and by the amount of relationships and friendships I was able to form. At the same time I found that those who are really into Twitter had a really hard time trying to convey their experience to people who don’t get it. So I thought that it would actually be a very good topic for a film as film or video can be more visceral and you can convey emotion and experience that will be in logical terms.
Q: Why did you decide to do it by crowd-sourcing?
A: I thought the best way to make a film about Twitter is with the help of everyone on Twitter … When I first started the project I would say that if we can ever get the film made, we would really prove that Twitter works because everything that the film requires comes through Twitter. The story, the idea, the production teams and all the screenings that we organized throughout the world, it all comes through connections from Twitter.
Q: Why have an India chapter?
A: You see very interesting stories in India because of the democratic structure. People are very outspoken and therefore they are also outspoken on Twitter. I think the culture is such that you can see a lot is out in the open in social media, and there are lot of dynamic complex societies where you can really see the sociological impact of Twitter and it’s been laid out in a very public way and it leads to a good film.