To the power of short films

To the power of short films

Film lovers now have another reason to cheer. A new film club Pinhole Sessions has come up in the City which will screen short documentaries every other Thursday. They inaugurated the club with their maiden screening at Ziro Café, Hauz Khas recently. In the offing were two acclaimed short films Nova Eva (France, Guillaume Martinez, 2010) and A Drop of Sunshine (India, Aparna Sanyal, 2011). Aparna was present at the screening to interact with young film enthusiasts.

Pinhole Sessions is an initiative of the Lightcube Film Society – a collective of young film lovers. Its representative Anuj Malhotra informed Metrolife, “Not many people know that our original cinema consisted of short films only. As film magazines did not run longer than 760 frames then (close to a minute), the ‘two-reelers’ were mostly experimental pieces of passing entertainment. As technology developed and filmmakers discovered the concept of a narrative, budgets increased, plots got larger, star cast became bigger and our films turned lengthier.”

“As it happens, this format was almost forgotten till the advent of digital filmmaking recently. Young filmmakers, now, equipped with the convenience of video editing and image manipulation software, are locating new meanings, new idioms and a new set of images in cinema which were not visible earlier. Pinhole Sessions aims to acknowledge that ambition and render these films for enthusiasts and filmmakers to draw inspiration from.”

First came in Nova Eva: Guillaume Martinez’s 37-minute new wave science-fiction film. Legendary French actress Edith Scob stars as the pivotal lead, Professor Eda Baykan in a very commendable performance. The underlying theme of the film is the concept of birth. Human beings evolved from simpler forms because of evolution and we are in the process of it as we speak. We often find the newer generation faster and more intelligent that we were during our childhood.

Director Martinez cleverly places the film in the near future and captures scenes of children playing in a playground. There is a great shot of a few children playing on a circular slide which could be a metaphor for the various ‘loops’ that the programmers talk about and also the ‘circle of life’ theory. One wonders if these children of the information age have ever experienced activities like taking hand-notes or typing their own emails and that is where the point of the film lies.

Then came the very well-received film on schizophrenia A Drop of Sunshine. A victim of the condition fights stigma and stereotypes – within her family and the larger world – of being mad, incurable, violent and suicidal; and ultimately comes out triumphant. She befriends her medical condition and in fact comes out a newer person – an artist.

While Nova Eva, being a more complex film, evoked a smaller response, Aparna was flooded with appreciation and questions for Sunshine. “The length of a movie is of little consequence. What is important is your storyline, the message you want to communicate and how you project it. In fact, a shorter film has full potential to be more impactful and engrossing. We hope more such films are made in India and abroad.” We hope so too.

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