Diverse Indian fare on offer at film fest

Diverse Indian fare on offer at film fest

DH at Cannes: Desi talent galore

Diverse Indian fare on offer at film fest

These 19 are showcasing their short films and documentaries in the Short Film Corner (SFC) section which is part of the overall market.

Paying a fee of 95 euros each, these filmmakers have entered their films in SFC with the hope that they would attract the eyes of film festivals, buyers as well as potential financiers who could bring in the money for their future projects. They are competing with several thousand other similar young filmmakers from all over the world, who have entered their films in SFC with the same purpose.

Among the films selected are Water Bariere by Mahendran Baskar, India Rediscovered by Rohan Sabharwal, Even Cactus Goes to Heaven (USA-India) by Parthiban Shanmugam, Paradise Lost by Arvind Iyer, Test No. 213 by Nishant Shrinivasa, Begin Again Since the Beginning by Alka Mehta, Heena & Boxing Gloves by Jay Shankar Singh, The Eyes of Silence by Avi Sidhu, Gulabi Gang by Shagun Rastogi, and Who Thought About Little Boys by Keshab Pandey.

The remaining nine films, interestingly, come from Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods International Film School students. They are Ek Tha Main by Paras Chakravarti, Roorkee By-Pass by Arundathi Sen Verma, Tuesday by Vishal Gandhi, Tying Strings and Shame by Ataullah Hossain, News by Sarvesh Mewara, Gir Gaya by Chirag Arora, Ansuni by Sunny Bhambani, A Writer’s Affair by Aditi Anand and Shoo by Surendra Pratap.

Interestingly, a growing trend is being witnessed in recent years of Indian filmmakers showing their films at the Cannes Market, including the SFC, and then claiming that there films have been showcased at the Cannes Film Festival. To be clear, market screenings are never considered part of the main festival anywhere, but probably some filmmakers make falsified claims just for an ego boost back home, and it is invariably the press release-driven sections of media that help them make such claims.

This year’s Indian entries at SFC have diverse themes. They include the fictional, such as Baskar’s 15-minute film (SFC entries have to be within 35 minutes, and might be of any theme barring those attacking nations, beliefs and communities broadly speaking), that is a story set in Paris about a kid neglected by his parents.

On the other hand, Sabharwal’s film is a TV documentary pilot episode that explores forgotten historical monuments in India. Shanmugam’s film is about a differently-abled child, while Iyer’s is a music video starring Tibetan singing legend Namgyal Lhamo expressing her anguish about the situation in Tibet.

Take on media

Shrinivasa, through his animation film, has chosen to focus on how modern media would have turned out to be if they chose to represent the age-old values imparted by conservative parents, while Mehta’s India-France co-production is a comical representation of whether it is possible to forecast the success of a movie. Jay Shankar Singh, meanwhile, has brought a very interesting film on two sisters from the conservative Muslim society who want to be boxers.

A documentation of a social movement in the villages of Bundelkhand where a group of women are trying to protect themselves and others like them against social malpractice, abusive husbands and corrupt administrators is what makes up Rastogi’s Gulabi Gang.

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