A.R. Rahman Launches Futureproof, An Initiative To Represent Indian Creative Arts, Tech And Innovation On A Global Stage

Mumbai: A.R. Rahman has launched FUTUREPROOF, an initiative to represent Indian creativity and innovation on the global stage. Uniting multi-faceted creative icons from across the world, FUTUREPROOF is a high-impact series designed to elevate and amplify the country’s diverse talent across the streams of art, science and entrepreneurship. The unique initiative, conceived by the Oscar and Grammy-Award winning composer, aims to strengthen global networks of creative and monetary support for the arts, science and innovation. The goal is to pave a path and system for Indian visionaries to best present their works for a worthy global showcase. FUTUREPROOF is spearheaded by the A.R. Rahman Foundation and the newly launched A&R venture SIGN, in partnership with modern media firm Qyuki.


The first edition of FUTUREPROOF, curated by celebrated filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, is a digital creative conference focused on the future of Indian cinema. It features Academy-Award winning filmmaker Nick Vallelonga (best known for co-writing and producing Green Book) and renowned acting educator Bernard Hiller. Joining them at the cinema conclave are a host of distinguished Indian filmmakers Zoya Akhtar, Nandita Das, Anubhav Sinha, Hansal Mehta, Neeraj Ghaywan, Lijo Jose Pellissery,  Geetu Mohandas and many more. This installment of FUTUREPROOF focuses on the future of cinema and takes a deep dive into the processes that govern the representation of Indian cinema internationally. In addition to its debut cinema edition, FUTUREPROOF, in its upcoming editions, will bring together the world’s most inspiring creative minds from the fields of music, entrepreneurship, technology and pop culture.


Watch the FUTUREPROOF preamble:


Says A.R. Rahman, 

“I found myself faced with many questions after having grown up in India and traveled the world; questions that arose both out of curiosity and concern. As a culturally rich country, what did we lack artistically so as to make our global representation so caricatured and dismal? Witnessing the birth of a new world in the past decade, where diversity is not only championed but celebrated, I felt the need to facilitate an exchange of artistic ideas and resources for Indian creatives. FUTUREPROOF was the answer I had been looking for all along.”


As the international spotlight turns its eye towards non-English-language films, FUTUREPROOF recognizes the urgent need to identify the missing building blocks that form a hurdle for Indian filmmakers on the global pathway. To put matters into perspective, the first Indian film to be nominated at the Oscars was Mehboob Khan’s 1957 classic Mother India. The epic drama was followed by nominations for Mira Nair’s 1988 crime drama Salaam Bombay! and Ashutosh Gowariker’s 2001 historical drama Lagaan. While these titles were torchbearers of Indian cinema in their own right, nominations of qualifying Indian films at the Oscars have been staggered and Hindi-language centric; neither representative of the linguistic diversity of Indian cinema, nor the length and breadth of the stories on showcase.


In the last decade, Indian films have received critical acclaim at home as well as in the prestigious international film festival circuit. Films such as Kashyap’s 2012 crime duology Gangs of Wasseypur, Ritesh Batra’s 2013 epistolary romance The Lunchbox, Mohandas’ 2013 road movie Liar’s Dice, Neeraj Ghaywan’s 2015 social drama Masaan, Zoya Akhtar’s 2019 music drama Gully Boy and Lijo Jose Pellissery’s 2019 social-action drama Jallikattu, Chaitanya Tamhane’s 2020 musical drama The Disciple, among other Indian features, have opened to noted praise and honors at many a film festival, including the Cannes Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival and others. India has also been recognized as the largest producer of feature films in 2015 and 2017 (the country produced 1907 and almost 2000 feature films, respectively) by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics. Still, Indian cinema is yet to be rightfully recognized and celebrated overseas, especially at the Academy.


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