Thursday, April 19, 2018

New Voices in Cinema: Short Film Festival

New Voices in Cinema: A Day-Long Short Film Festival
Date: 29 April 2018
Time: 10:30 a.m. onwards
Venue: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, 716, CMH Road, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bangalore 560 038. Tel.: +91 80 22511300/33/55/77/99

In addition to three German short films (one of which was nominated for the Oscars), the films chosen for this festival were on the long list for the TOTO Awards for Short Film 2018.  Due to their consistently high quality, the jurors recommended the screening of these films for the public.

SESSION 1: 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

1. Ahmed's Dream (Fiction)
Director: Mridul Narnaulia
5 min 18 sec
This film takes us on a journey through the old city of Ahmedabad, showing the diverse and complex realities of localities that many choose to ignore. Roaming around the Teen Darwaza area, it uncovers the hidden beauty that people often miss amid the jam-packed and chaotic mess. The title of the film was inspired by Ahmed Shah, who founded the city of Ahmedabad with its many darwazas.

2. Daslakhiya (Documentary)
Director: Rishika Namdev
30 min
Fences are often built to create boundaries and determine ownership. One such fence has been built in the Kanha National Park of India, where an indigenous tribe has been deprived of its basic forest rights. This film reveals the aftermath of the eviction of the Baiga tribe from the forest.

3. Bismaar Ghar (Withering House) (Documentary)
Director: Shreyas Dasharathe 
25 min 51 sec
A house gives us a sense of belonging. It envelops and protects us. A symbol of its time and cultural milieu, it is like a living, breathing being with a unique identity. With changing times and circumstances, we are moving towards a strange kind of uniformity under the shadow of ‘urbanism’ and ‘development’. And it is especially visible in the most personal embodiment of our selves — our house. 
(Winner of a TOTO Award for Short Film 2018)

4. Eye Test (Fiction)
Director: Sudha K F
16 min 12 sec
This film delves into the mindscape of 27-year-old Nivedita when she visits an eye clinic for a checkup. The clinic, a drab and cold place, becomes an unlikely and unique sensorial geography of the invoked memories of her mother and her own lonely childhood, also revealing to us her grieving self. In this way, the film captures the difficult everyday realities of a working single mother in India.

Tea Break

SESSION 2: 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

5. Ritham (Fiction)
Director: Siva Ranjini
28 min
Every film is an autobiography. Everyone has that one story that we keep coming back to, repeating it in all possible ways. Ritham, a film meditating on a mother-daughter relationship across different timeframes, was a journey to herself, says the director — a search within for answers she had been seeking her whole life.

6. Kurli (Fiction)
Director: Natesh Hegde
17 min 23 sec
Siddi Subba steals bananas from a landlord’s farm where he works as a servant. One day, three children go to catch crabs in the same farm. On the same day, the landlord and his son find a bunch of bananas hidden in a pit and realise that someone has stolen it from their farm. One of Siddi Subba’s sons is accused of being the culprit. Instead of confessing to his crime, the father lets his son take the blame. 

7. Kaala Bindu (Fiction)
Director: Bhushitendu Bhatt
17 min 09 sec
The film follows Bindu, a mysterious young girl, who narrates the story of her life to
Vitthal, a boatman, as he rows her across the Ganges on a windy day. Set in Benares, the film addresses the themes of social stigma, superstition and the power of storytelling.

Lunch Break

SESSION 3: 2:45 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.

8. Barsaati (Fiction)
Director: Priya Naresh 
12 min 45 sec
On a cold night, two men encounter their sleepless thoughts. Familiar fears kindle new conversations. The film witnesses them talking, moving between the noise that lives in buildings and the silence of the sky. 
(Winner of the International Young Film Makers Award 2017, Germany)

9. Burlesque (Non-fiction)
Director: Sagar Shiriskar
6 min 52 sec
This film explores the different stages of lived experience from birth to death through different scenes with animals, birds and insects, who serve as a metaphor for the inconsequentiality of a single life in the larger scheme of things. From the first breath to the last, the playfulness, the poignancy and the tragedy of life is glimpsed.

10. Jivari (Documentary)
Director: Himanshu Prajapati
23 min 09 sec
Jivari, in Indian classical music, refers to the overtone-rich sound characteristic of classical Indian string instruments such as the tanpura, sitar, surbahar, rudra veena and Sarasvati veena. Jivari also refers to meticulously carved bone, ivory or wooden bridges that support the strings on the sounding board that produce this acoustic effect. The film traces the bridge between the craftsman and the musician, exploring the intimate bond that Zakir Bhai and his music shop has with classical music, and how this bond has evolved over the years.

11. Wedding Preparations in the Country (Fiction)
Director: Akash Sharma
26 min 49 sec
In post-war Bosnia & Herzegovina, an old man, Alija, works in a waste-paper factory and leads a solitary life. One day he remembers that he was to get married to a girl named Betty in the countryside many years ago but had forgotten about it. He now decides to take leave from work and embark on a journey to the countryside to meet her.

12. Circus (Fiction)
Director: Gautam Arora
23 min 05 sec
This is a satirical film loosely based on true events. Samarth is a 20-something boy from Delhi working in one of the many IT firms in Chennai. Rushing to the airport following an urgent call from his mother, Samarth has an encounter with a pillar of the Indian Constitution, the police. What follows is a series of farcical events that leave Samarth questioning not only the Indian Constitutional system but also the ethical underpinnings of the citizens of India. Circus is a heartfelt glimpse into the urban life of Chennai, thus being a synecdoche of everyday India.

Tea Break

SESSION 4: 4:35 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

13. Gi (Fiction)
Director: Kunjila Mascillamani 
30 min
A Malayali woman and her ageing grandfather living in Kolkata are both in their worlds of silence and sadness while being connected with a love so deep that nobody seems to understand it. This film speaks about abuse and Hindutva, pain and the bond between people. 
(Winner of a TOTO Award for Short Film 2018)

14. Welcome Valentine 2017 (Documentary)
Director: Dhruv Satija 
16 min 43 sec
This film explores the ideas of love, politics and the Hindu religion in contemporary Ahmedabad through a priest who has been marrying off eloping couples, heterosexual as well as LGBT, in a Hanuman Temple. The priest, Hirabhai Juguji, approaches love, marriage, politics and religion with both extreme simplicity and extreme depth. His beliefs are very unusual and unorthodox for a priest in India, and leave viewers asking questions about their own convictions. 
(Shortlisted for the TOTO Awards for Short Film 2018)

SESSION 5: 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

CONVERSATION between Shreyas Dashrathe, Priya Naresh and Rashmi Sawhney

Two of the young filmmakers, Shreyas Dasharathe and Priya Naresh, who will be present for the screenings, will be in conversation with Rashmi Sawhney. 

Rashmi Sawhney is a Bangalore-based academic and writer whose work deals with film and visual culture. She is a founding member of VisionMix ( an international platform for artists, filmmakers, curators and researchers. Rashmi is currently faculty at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology and has previously been Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at JNU. 

Shreyas Dasharathe likes telling stories that are unusual but honest. He is a student of film at NID, Ahmedabad. Recently, as part of the Looking China Youth Film Project, he was invited to China along with other international filmmakers to make a documentary on Chinese culture. Shreyas won a TOTO Award for Short Film 2018 for his film Bismaar Ghar, which was also awarded the best student film at the recently concluded Mumbai International Film Festival 2018.

Priya Naresh has received the International Young Film Makers Award in Germany for her short film Barsaati, which has also been screened at various other film festivals. She has worked on a documentary on the death penalty in India, which won the Asian Cinema Fund in 2015 and was funded by the Swiss Embassy. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics.

SESSION 6: 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
German Selection: INTRODUCTION by Philip Posthoff 

15. Halfway (Animation)
Director: Rand Beiruty
4 min
Images and social-media messages are interwoven with animated segments that illustrate the state of Abu Haidar’s family.

16. Good Night, Everybuds! (Animation)
Director: Benedikt Hummel
5 min 32 sec
As the world is dozing off, two burning hearts engage in a sexual journey along moonlit shores. A wild choreography of squeezings and pleasings unfolds to eventually have all hearts in an everlasting embrace.

17. Watu Wote: All of Us (Docu-drama)
Director: Katja Benrath 
22 min
For a decade, Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. In one instance in December 2015, though, Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail.

(Nominated for the 2018 Oscar for the Best Live Action Short Film)

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