Student directors from India, Pakistan join hands ahead of film festival

Multi-city fest on short films next year, workshops to begin soon

Student directors from India, Pakistan  join hands ahead of film festival

The short film can be a powerful medium to enrich intercultural understanding. Aware of this huge potential, Indian and Pakistani student filmmakers have come together to kickstart a movement unprecedented in its creative instinct: Zero mm, a South Asia-themed international film festival, to be screened in Bengaluru and Lahore.

Conceptualised by Campus Diaries, a City-based technology startup, and Lahore NGO, The Little Art, the festival is a year away. But as a run-up to this unique experiment in talent recognition, the Zero mm project will soon launch a series of workshops covering the entire gamut of filmmaking. Acting, directing, script-writing, cinematography, technology, distribution and production will be part of this elaborate exercise.

Designed to discover filmmaking talent, the training sessions and screenings will extend to college campuses across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi, besides Karachi and Lahore. “There is a lot of talent out there among students doing media studies and engineering. Our objective is to spot them and recognise them, create a supporting platform for inter-disciplinary themes,” explained Campus Diaries CEO and co-founder Sumit Saurav.

The sessions will culminate in the Zero mm film festival scheduled for August 2016. The young filmmakers could compete for seven awards in the categories of Best Documentary, Animation, Director (Documentary), Director (Animation), Live Action, Director (Live Action) and Best Actor (Live Action).

Shortlisted entries will get a chance to work with renowned filmmakers on their next projects, mentorship from similar experts on their own projects, and cash prizes.

At the recent TEDxBangalore, Zero mm had offered a glimpse of what’s in store by screening six selected student films from India and Pakistan. The objective was clear: To showcase the collaboration between two geographies of Bengaluru and Lahore using art and films.

“In India and Pakistan, there is a lot of overlap in cultures. A lot of quality films are already there. There is a lot of talent, but not enough platforms to showcase it,” said Saurav.

Eventually, the festival is expected to feature about 200 films and would be screened at multiple venues. Besides Mount Carmel College, Srishti School, St Joseph’s, Christ College and RV Engineering College in Bengaluru, the screenings will take place at Loyolla College, Chennai, and Symbiosis Institute, Pune. Also on the agenda are shows at Harvard University and National University of Singapore.  The Event  Zero mm festival: 200 films to be screened; awards in seven categories
Year-long workshops, college sessions
Seven themes based on South Asian art, culture
More info on festival: zeromm@thelittleart.org, nandini@campusdiaries.com
Submissions begin on October 31 on campusdiaries.com

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