Ramnath N Pai Raikar | NT NETWORK
The young short-film makers, whose films are being screened under the Indian Panorama section of the ongoing International Film Festival of India are optimistic about the opportunities, which would be available to them in the future, for the exhibition of their short films.
“It is unfortunate that we have no dedicated television channel to telecast documentaries or short films,” said Haobam Paban Kumar, who has studied filmmaking at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, and has his Manipuri film ‘Loktak Lairembee’ being screened at the IFFI 2016. “Fortunately for independent film makers, today everybody wants to invest in independent cinema. And they don’t want theatrical releases,” he added, pointing out that things are changing for short-film makers, and even people are preferring short films to full length feature films.
Speaking further, Kumar said that ‘Loktak Lairembee’ narrates the tale of a man, who accidentally possesses a gun, and the production is symbolically built around fear psychosis leading to unnecessary things. “There should be no difference between documentaries and fiction films,” the observed, maintaining that he makes films on contemporary issues, which affects him.
Billu Paul, a short-film maker, who has studied at the Film and Television Institute, in Rohtak, is screening his Haryanvi short-film, ‘Samann’ at the film festival. The film portrays the life of a married couple in rural Haryana, with the husband continuously busy and eventually, the resulting loneliness in his wife’s life starts to guilt him from within. The film reflects the conflicts and complexities present within the institution of marriage and the conditions humans have to live with.
“The culture and geography of places may be different but human conditions are the same all over,” stated Paul while maintaining that the theme of his film is the institution of marriage. “In India, hardly 10 per cent to 20 per cent people are able to go to multiplexes, while the rest have to wait for the films to be telecast on television,” he said, pointing out that the youth however has internet, YouTube, web series and so on at their disposal to watch content, including short films and documentaries.
Bidyut Katoky, another short-film maker, with his English short film, ‘Guns and Guitars – a musical travelogue’ at the IFFI 2016 maintained that his film is a revelation of the extent of anger and alienation felt by the people of the North-East caused by years of neglect, and how their youth embraced music in the cradle of violence, providing a healing touch and ray of hope. “This film is my effort to bring out various lesser-known aspects such as the music of the Northeastern region,” he stated, adding that his short-film is actually a documentary, which charts the journey of eight rock bands from each of the northeastern states, and ends by showing a concert organised by Northeast’s very own Lou Majaw on May 24, the birthday of Bob Dylan.
Sudesh Balan whose Malayalam short film, ‘Ormayude Athirvarambukal’ (Boundaries of Memory) is being screened at the film festival, teaches photography and filmmaking with an emphasis on digital media at IDC, IIT Bombay. ‘Boundaries of Memory’ is a short fictional film about an elderly person’s search for a son, whose name is resonating in his fading memory.
“I want to give a message through the films without losing the cinematic value of the production,” Balan said, pointing out: “For me movie making is a personal journey.” He further stated that when it comes to the technical quality of the short-films, the short-filmmakers face the problem of matching it with that of the bigger movies.
“However, we should also not forget that the attention span of people is less for bigger movies, and they soon get fed up, as also the content is lacking in such films,” the young filmmaker said, mentioning that working with T G Ravi, the noted Malayalam actor for ‘Boundaries of Memory’ was a dream come true for him.
Ramnath N Pai Raikar | NT NETWORK