Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shamiana is Six!

Wikipedia describes short films as a contemporary non-commercial motion picture that is substantially shorter than the average commercial feature film. There is no clear definition of the maximum length of a short film, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences classify it as 40 minutes, while the Internet Movie Database refer to any film lasting less than 45 minutes as a short subject. The short-film form is to the full-length film what the short story is to a full-fledged novel.

Theatre personality Cyrus Dastur's (pic) SHAMIANA showcases select short films every second Wednesday at Not Just Jazz by the Bay.

The masala cinema fan in me decided to be a part of its 6 month anniversary celebrations where silent short films were screened last evening at the same venue. Ten short films were screened and the duration of the films ranged from 1.5 minutes to 14 minutes. The cast and crew part of a few films were invited to the dias after their films were screened for a Q&A which was very interesting.

The films that were screened and my little note on each of them.

1. Revelations: A three minute animation film from Ireland. A simple love story of hopes raised and hopes dashed... the animation was neat and simple which is what made it stand out.
Directed by Jane Lee.

2. Bhaichara : The shortest film I have ever seen. Made at a shoe-string budget of Rs.500 this one and a half minuter had actor Vrijesh Hirjee in a double role. Two look alikes meet and realise that they have the same mole, same tattoo ("Mera Baap chor hai" & "Mera bhi"), same pendant etc. Just when they are about to hug each other with a "Bhai Bhai" they ask for each others’ names. “Krishna” and “Mahmood”! “We can’t be brothers!” is what they tell each other and go ahead with their lives. Lovely!
I am embarrassed to admit that I missed the last 5 seconds of the clippings, 'coz I got busy checking my phone’s network soon after the end credits started rolling and I am still thinking about the last shot after the credits that had the look alikes hugging each other. Arrgh! I missed a subtitle or a frame between the credits and this shot.
Director: Karan Anshuman

3. Color blind: Shamiana is a platform not just for award winning, acclaimed-all-over-the-world films. College students whose project films and short films made just for fun are showcased, encouraging young talent. Color blind was made by the students of Jai Hind College at a budget that they describe as “five packet of chips and pizza… a mini pizza". Colorblind, as the name suggests talks about racism. Very well executed with white and black gloves! Good effort by the students.
Directors: Sneh, Sanchi, Diksha, Prakriti

4. Birju: This short film was nominated for the Oscars in the student film category. Birju has no sentiment, comedy, action, drama, dialogues, plot, SFX. Yet quite endearing with the camera following the life of a cute little kid in the gullies of Pushkar, Rajasthan.
Directed by Heeraz Marfatiya

5. Innocent Mischief: Jai Hind college students’ film of a street kid and his ‘mischief’. Don’t look for production values, great lighting or wonderful cinematography in this film. Its the idea and the execution that matters.
Directors: Gauri, Milan, Pooja, Dipti

6. Mochi: Can an eleven-minute short film put together a story that romance, amma sentiment, passion … and no dialogues? Yes, says director Praveen Bhamre with his film Mochi that features some of the finest actors in Marathi cinema – Usha Nadkarni, Nilu Phule and Upendar. Mochi had the potential to be made into a full length feature film… and the beauty was that he chose to make a short film with the story.
Director: Praveen Bhamre

7. Road rage: A humorous take on the road rages, which are a common occurrence in India. With the efforts of the Pune Municipal Corporation, this film will be be showcased across all leading cinema theatres in Pune.
Directed by : Dr.Swaroop Savanur

8. Cum Pleanos Feliz: Seven minutes of pure 2-D animation of a little boy’s beautiful birthday celebrations suddenly disappearing into thin air.
Director: Em illio Lujan (Spain)

9. Jade Necklace: Was simply amazed by the thought and the use of sound in a silent film. Filmed by the students of HR college for their college project where they had to submit a film with ‘Robbery’ at the central theme.
Directors: Abhishek Singh, Priyen Sangoi and Suveer Bajaj

10. Little Sivaji: Tired of all the bad spoofs of Tamizh films that made fun of South Indian actors and their accents, I had told myself that I would not laugh at anything that says “Ayyo.. wateeejeee?” kinda nonsense. I was very sure that Little Sivaji belonged to that category. Yes it was- it was a spoof on Sivaji but quite a cute one, I must admit. Hugely popular in the Shamiana screenings , Little Sivaji is a five minute spoof on Sivaji: The Boss that was filmed and edited in six hours flat. And yes, I was ROFL-ing.
Director: Krishnan Nallappa
Special feature:

11. Trailer of Oceans of an old man: A trailer of a full length feature film by the FTII students featuring Tom Alter who was the special guest last evening.

For a suburbite* like me (Non-Mumbaikars, please excuse!) traveling all the way to town at 6:30pm directly from work was not quite easy. I wondered if Shamiana’s screenings were aimed only at the ‘town’^ies. Thankfully, they have a screening every third Saturday at D Ultimate, in Andheri. The next screening is scheduled on the 15th of November.

If you are a short film lover, do join them every second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm at Not Just Jazz by the Bay
Soona Mahal, 143, Marine Drive,
Churchgate, Mumbai
Ph: 22851876/ 22820957/ 883

or on the

Third Saturday of every month at 6.30 pm at
D Ultimate
B/509/510/511, Crystal Plaza,
Oberoi Chambers, New Link Road,
Andheri (W), Mumbai.
Phone 26742515

Entrance fee: Rs.100/-

Join their facebook group or email cyrusdastur {at} rediffmail {dot} com for more details.


*Suburb = Areas that are a part of Mumbai from Bandra till Gujarat border :).

^Town = Bandra - Nariman point includes Worli, Peddar Road, Malabar hills, Walkeshwar, Colaba...


Bloglines still open for விளம்பர விளையாட்டு 28 . Kollywood Kostan # 2 - Chinna Thambi Periya Thambi. Sud Gopal, Congratulations! Kollywood Kostan # 3 is maha maha easy.

2 Responses:

Artnavy said...

suburb definition- awesome

but when r these films coming to chennai??

ambi said...

//part of Mumbai from Bandra till Gujarat border//