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Goa: In reel light

‘The Portrait of a Goan Collector’, a documentary
on the founder of Goa Chitra Museum, Benaulim,
Victor Hugo Gomes, has been travelling to several
film festivals around the globe. In 13 minutes,
Agnelo Wayne Rodrigues tells the story of the
man preserving Goa’s heritage. Rodrigues
in conversation with NT BUZZ

Danuska Da Gama | NT BUZZ

He has shot and edited over 400 videos and clicked a ton of photos, but Agnelo Wayne Rodrigues admits that he has never done anything like the documentary ‘The Portrait of a Goan Collector’. Besides travelling to numerous film festivals, the documentary is the first Goa-centric one to be available on Amazon Prime UK and USA.

Rodrigues gave up his 13 year career in banking to get into the world of digital content creation. It was for him a means of converting his life-long hobby of cameras and content creation into a full time obsession. Having started off as a wedding photographer he then moved to video creation. Shooting, creating editorials, documentary styled videos for corporate, travel, and food shows is what he works on with his base in Dubai.

The founder of ‘The Picture Bar’, a photo and video production house in Dubai, Rodrigues constantly seeks new work that he says will be an interesting addition to his reel, besides challenging him creatively. The approach he uses in his work is to keep things simple and that he says, has worked for him – allowing him to work with renowned brands.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q. Tell us how the idea to make a film on Victor Hugo Gomes came about.

As a budding filmmaker I am always looking for interesting stories. I met Victor in 2016. He instantly struck me as an interesting man with an interesting story. At that very moment, I just knew I had to make a story on him.

Q. Your film is travelling to various festivals. It must be a great feeling.

The film has got an amazing response from film festivals across the globe. Besides being in the running as a finalist in the Golden Movie Awards, London; it was also the official selection at The People’s Film Festival 2019; at ARFF, Amsterdam; the official selection for Berlin Flash Film Festival; and received an honourable mention at London X-4 Seasonal Short Film Festival. It has been selected this week in San Francisco for the 13th Annual San Francisco Frozen Film Festival from over 800 films. This is a prestigious festival devoted to short films.

Q. What are the aspects you’ve covered through the film?

The film covers the past, present, and the future plans of Victor’s passion of conserving the story of Goa, through Goa Chitra. It narrates with interesting visual tales how he struggled to arrive at making it a museum, what it currently holds and the potential in the closet that is waiting to be released. It sums up to how he perceives to leave this legacy behind, thus illustrating the deep meaning of conservation and why it should be part of us.

Q. Can you take us through the making of your documentary?

It was shot in two days, of which five hours included a conversational styled interview with Victor. The first draft of this interview piece was 57 minutes (editing out obvious imperfections, questions, etc). I heard the audio draft about 20 times and then cut it to 34 minutes first, and then to 18 minutes. Here we created a time coded transcript, physically printed it, cut every sentence to strips, laying them on the floor. These were then shuffled to see how best the story would flow. This resulted in a better story line.

Q. Why did you tone it down to just 13 minutes?

We set out to capture the man’s tale the way he told it, with all his passion. It covered aspects of why he collects art, how he did it, and all that he has done till now. I don’t decide the duration, the material I had as an editor decided that. I wanted to keep it crisp and gripping, with the aim to get his message out there.

Q. What’s the next film themed on?

I am currently working in London, as director of photography for a film titled, ‘Paradox’ written and directed by Norwegian director, Joshua Warren. I also have my fingers crossed on a documentary to be made on a Spanish female tailor, who in an accident had to have a portion of her brain extracted. On fully recovering she discovered that the only way she could memorise new things was through shapes and numbers. This weakness grabbed the designing aspect of her career by its horns resulting in her producing fabulous designs that drew the attention of exhibitors from big brands and proposals from large scale manufacturers.

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