Friday, May 17, 2013

India-based directors–Cannes Short Film Corner

(extract from the latest Film India Worldwide Cannes Special issue)

vlcsnap-2012-11-12-09h52m26s209Life Sentence
India, 2012, 9 mins, HD, English
Direction, script Vincent Jose; editor A S Joshy; sound, music M Chandu; camera G K Nandakumar; cast Vivek G Nath, M Anjaly Vaishak Raveendran

A personal life scarred by broken relationships pushes Vivek, the protagonist, to strive for
redemption. Inspired by O’Henry’s short story, the film traces the protagonist’s thoughts and life through a nine-minute display.

Vincent Jose, from Palghat, Kerala, is a doctor by profession. He took to books and films in 2006 while pursuing his MBBS from the Government Medical College, Trivandrum. His 2011 debut short Violet screened at the International Short Film and Documentary Festival of Kerala. Life Sentence,  his second film, screened at the Delhi International Film Festival, 2012. He says, “I’m excited that my film has reached Cannes Short Film Corner. It is a dream come true.”

India, 7.7mins, Tamil
Direction, script, producer Guhan Senniappan; camera Niketh; script Guhan Senniappan, Siddarth Prakash; editor Kripa Purushothaman; music Sundaramurthy; cast Vijay Bhaktha, Balu, Nirmal Lawrence, Crystal Lopez, Rangaraj

Agham, an artist who entertains people through his sketches, hides his scarred face fearing ridicule. But when he reveals it by accident to a family, their reaction saddens him. A dejected circus joker teaches him the true nature of beauty and the worth of a beautiful heart.
Chennai-based Guhan Senniappan, a graduate in Visual Communication from Loyola College Chennai, has made short films from his college days and is well known in the Tamil film industry.  He says, “Cannes, every filmmaker’s dream, is for me the quenching of a thirst from years of work. Mirages may come but the reality is what I craved for and the reality is Cannes.”

anukokunda posterAnukokunda
India, 2012, 7 mins, HD, Telugu
Direction, script, camera Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam; editor Harikanth Gunagamari; music Shravan; executive producer K Ranjith Kumar; producer Vinoothna Geetha Media; cast Ritu Verma, Kireeti Damaraju, John Kottoly

A tryst between true love and the Indian way of arranged marriages, this film through a series of events, conveys whether Ritu will follow the man of her dreams or tie herself to destiny.

Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam has directed short films such as The Method, Artist’s Poem and The Journey besides many corporate films. Working at present on a feature film for the Telugu Industry, he says, “If a film shot in 48 hours lands in Cannes, we believe there is a lot of potential within us to make better films and, more importantly, showcase stories about our culture to a global audience."

radha2What’s Eating Radha
Direction, script Sandipa Rakshit; camera Sanu John Varughuese; music Sanjay Divecha; editor Shivkumar Panicker; sound Anil Radhakrishnan; cast Rasika Dugal, Faisal Rashid.

This debut short is set in new urban India, where moral values are still traditional. Radha is troubled and indifferent. Anand placates her through humour and charm which makes her blurt out the truth, furthering Anand's  dilemma. Things will never be the same between them.
Kolkata raised, Mumbai-based Sandipa Rakshit schooled in Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan, obtained her Bachelors in Russian (Hons) from Delhi’s JNU and Masters in Communication Studies for HCU, Hyderabad. She has directed TV feature stories for leading companies and also documentaries for UNICEF. She speaks seven languages, is a photographer and sports enthusiast. She says, “The 2013 Short Film Corner is a brilliant  platform to be in, offering extra encouragement to independent directors who believe in shorter forms of story-telling.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Film India Worldwide Cannes Special Issue–Short Film Corner



India, 2013, 26 mins, HD, Malayalam

Direction, script Dr Thomas Mathai; camera Dr Sreeraj N , Sandeep Nair; editor Dr Sreeraj N; music Vivian Varghese; producer Dr Sreeraj N, Dr Thomas Mathai; cast Ashirvad Madhusoodanan, Reshma Malayath

Alfie and her new lover travel to a remote waterfall in the woods where she falls asleep and has a bizarre and horrific dream. The surreal film is structured uniquely to simulate a dream experience immersed in Freudian eroticism. Kerala-based Thomas Mathai, as a student of the Medical College, Trivandrum, began the production of Alfie with his colleague Dr Sreeraj N. The idea for the film came to Mathai when he was a house surgeon. Lacking any experience in the field, the duo completed the film with help from a friend, Sandeep Nair. Dr Thomas Mathai says, “For us, being at Cannes is a unique occasion to showcase our kind of cinema to the world and have opportunities to interact with filmmakers from all around the world.”


film still2Prisoners of Moon

India, 2013, 14 mins, HD, Hindi

Direction, camera, editor, sound Tushar Waghela; script Priyanka Waghela, Tushar Waghela; music Sagardas Manikpuri; cast Shubhagnil Singh, Manindar Singh

A separation between lovers. One is a painter who wants to be a monk. That decision and what could be the reason for it sends the other into deep shock. The story is about love that never dies.

Tushar Waghela, self-taught visual artist/filmmaker, with a Masters in Philosophy from Pt Ravi Shankar University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, has showcased his paintings/video art in solo and collective exhibitions in India and abroad. Over 2013, his recent video work Dandakaranya-The Jungle of Punishment screened at the 9th Berlin International Directors Lounge, the 2nd Motion International Festival Cyprus and at the 5th International Video Art Festival, Camag├╝ey. He commutes between Mumbai and Chhattisgarh. Waghela says, “Cannes Short Film Corner will be a good direct or indirect help for my future film projects."


Baby Box - Still 2Baby Box

India, 2013, 15 mins, HD, Kannada

Direction, script, editor, production Jayaprakash P Koroth; camera Vishnu Prasad; music Ellwyn Joshua; cast Narmta Dhar, Padmaja Nagarur, Malati Sardeshpande, Aji Manoly, Baby Yakshika

In a remote South Indian village, a mother is caught red-handed by two nuns while attempting at night to abandon her new born in an orphanage. When the wardens advise the woman to care for her baby by herself, she grabs the baby and vanishes into darkness. Regretting their denial of help, a nun goes in search of the mother and child.

Bangalore-based Jayaprakash P Koroth (originally from Kerala) is an engineer by trade and a filmmaker at heart. Baby Box is his second short film. His debut, My Mamma’s Milk (2011), screened at nine international film festivals winning three major awards. He says, “I believe the Short Film Corner is the right platform to share my film with the world. I thank the festival for giving me the opportunity.”


screenshots 122B or Not 2B

India, 2012, 15 mins, HD, English

Direction, script, editing Samvida Nanda; camera Kabra Shivani; music, sound Levin Saurabh; cast Akash Raman, Nayanika Sharma; production Pocket Films

A man discovers a magic 2B pencil which links the animated world to his world. He draws an exact double of himself into the animated world, who then cautions him about what he is doing. When events escalate, affecting the girl he loves, he has to either relinquish his new-found power to his double or lose his girl. But who is the double?

Delhi-based Samvida Nanda graduated from Bangaore's Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology in 2011. After a two-year foundation study in Design, she specialized in Digital Video Production. She loves cinematography, photography, direction, impressionist art, writing screenplays and writing about herself in the third person. She says, “A film festival is where the veracity of perspectives come to light. Thanks to Saameer Mody of Pocket Films, I have the honour to be a fellow story-teller and present my film in prestigious Cannes.”


Look out for more info on Short Film Corner entries…….

(extract from the latest Film India Worldwide Cannes Special issue)

To subscribe or order a single copy please email Uma da Cunha

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

India-based directors at Cannes Short Film Corner

(extract from the latest Film India Worldwide Cannes Special issue)

To subscribe or order a single copy please email Uma da Cunha


India, 2013, 14 mins, HD, English

Direction, script, camera Anmol Karnik; editor Sanjeel Malik; music Peace Nistades; cast Saloni Choujar, Sanjeel Malik

Befriending a neighbour, a young girl decides to go with him for a movie and drinks. She then wakes up bruised and wounded on an empty street. She goes through a traumatic experience after being raped but finds support and love to smile once again.

Mumbai-born Anmol Karnik was just 15 when he worked in advertising films. Moving to Los Angeles in 2007, he took a degree in film production at Los Angeles City College and then interned with production companies including Warner Bros Television and worked as editor for filmmakers such as Oscar-nominated Gregg Helvey. Karnik is back in Mumbai and in advertising. He says, “Being selected at the Short Film Corner was a pleasant surprise. I can't wait to experience the festival. It’s a dream to finally be able to go there with my work."


poster 2An Irrelevant Story

India, 2013, 7 mins, HD, Marathi

Direction, script Milind Jha; camera Santosh Reddy; editor Susheel Gautam; music Adwait Nemlekar; cast Chandrakant Dhumal, Nitin Dhanduke

This social satire with farmer suicides in rural India as its backdrop comments on the class divide between the privileged few and the many poor. It shows the downtrodden enjoying the moments of happiness they can afford.

Mumbai-based Milind Jha, an engineer by profession, joined Film and Television Institute of India, Pune for a certificate course in television direction. He is working on a script for a feature film. Jha says, “I had my share of self doubt but the selection has made me believe in my abilities. Cannes is a great platform and I am looking forward to meeting talents from all over the world.”


radio poster Radio

India, 2012, 11 mins, HD, Malayalam

Direction, script Shanil Muhammed; camera Joy Vellathooval; editor Rojin Thomas; cast Kiran Aravindakshan, Rahul Subramanium, Ravi Elamkulam

An eccentric man’s experiments to start a radio channel are realized when he finds the correct frequency: it relays information to help the public. Ravi’s satisfaction as the channel gathers listeners freezes when a cop arrives saying he has not procured the right permissions. He wonders if the information he conveyed could harm anybody.

Shanil Muhammed realized that film was his vocation while he was working in the Gulf. Returning to Kerala, he started his production company, Gooseberry Creations. His debut One Rupee Tip won a Kerala State Film Award. Radio is his second venture. He says, “This recognition from the highest level inspires me and gives me confidence to come up with more exciting films on varied themes.”


2Alyssa From Nowhere

India, 2012, 5 mins, 2K, English

Direction Sidharth Dhanda; creative producer Rashi Kalra; cast Rukmani Dhanda

The efforts and setbacks that a little girl selling flowers faces (a common sight on Indian streets) is observed as she goes about trying to earn a sparse living. The film underlines India’s social governance and administration when applied to victimised children.

Sidharth Dhanda believes cinema is a powerful medium which has the capacity to change the world. He has taken a film production course at a private academy in Mumbai. Sidharth commutes between Mumbai and Delhi. He says, “I am extremely happy that my message through the film will get the attention it deserves. I am thankful to the Short Film Corner for this opportunity and honour.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Instituted in 2004 by the Festival de Cannes, the Short Film Corner (SFC) is the essential rendezvous networking venue for short and documentary filmmakers to screen their films and take decisive steps for their future careers. The SFC offers each filmmaker a tailor-made programme of industry meets, workshops and conferences that deal with strategic issues.

India-based directors
Durba Sahay’s The Mechanic
NAbhishek Talukder’s Ria
NNishant Bahukhandi’s The Soup
NNileish Malhotra's Hanki Panki
NAnmol Karnik’s Maya
NMilind Jha's An Irrelevant Story
NShanil Muhammed’s Radio
NSidharth Dhanda’s Alyssa From Nowhere
NDr Thomas Mathai's Alfie
NTushar Waghela's Prisoners of Moon
NJayaprakash P Koroth’s Baby Box
NSamvida Nanda's 2B or Not 2B
NVincent Jose's Life Sentence
NGuhan Senniappan's Agham
NTharun Bhascker Dhaassyam's Anukokunda
NSandipa Rakshit's What's Eating Radha

The Mechanic
India, 2013, 33 mins, HD format
Direction, script Durba Sahay
camera Suresh Beesaveni; editor Kunal Yadav;
music Vijayendra Dwary; sound Shishir Tripathi; cast Virendra Saxena, Sanjay Singh, Pankhuri
Saxena; production GNS Motion Pictures

The transition from childhood to adolescence is challenging. A teenage girl finds an older man making pervert advances as he follows her on his  bicycle. Years later, when he is at her door to fix her broken refrigerator, she decides not to give in to fear. And he comes to regret his actions.
Durba Sahay made her directorial debut in 2011 with The Pen and An Unknown Guest, and both screened at the Short Film Corner, 64th Cannes.   She says, “Being part of Cannes for the third time gives me immense pleasure. Because of Cannes, my film had the honour and
the opportunity to be featured in many international festivals. I thank Cannes for hosting me and other filmmakers across the globe and bringing us together as a family.”

India, 2013, 17 mins, HD, Bengali
Direction, script  Abhishek Talukder
camera Anshul Uniyal; editor Saptarsi Mondal; music Anubhab Mukherjee; cast Sumedha Ray, Arpan Sengupta, Pritha Baksi, Sudeepta Sadhukhan

A simple, honest and liberal Muslim teacher undergoes an identity shift because of one stray incident: the unnecessary outrage by Muslims demanding the immediate exit of Bangladesh author Taslima Nasreen from Kolkata. The baby, Ria, is the mirror here. Kolkata-based Talukder says, “By being at the Short Film Corner, I feel convinced that my work has the quality to reach international standards, and that its language is universal.”

The Soup
India, 2013, 13 mins
Direction, producer Nishant Bahukhandi

A six-year-old boy in the North Pole is eager to go home for his vacations as his mother has made his favourite fish soup. He wishes to get the soup first, but after all attempts, he gets it last.
“Cannes Short Film Corner is the very first festival
I send my debut film to. So I am more than excited and looking forward to
attending  this year's fest," says Bahukhandi.

Hanki Panki
UK/India, 2013, 35 mins, HD, English
Direction, editor Nileish Malhotra; script Karyn Watt, Karen Havranek; camera Jaywant Rout, Stuart Grieg; cast Nileish Malhotra, Karyn Watt, Vikas Srivastava, Dr Suraina Malhotra

A romantic comedy set in India and Scotland. Two women enter a baking competition and find love with two strangers. They are then robbed and end up bankrupt. Out of pity they are given jobs in a Maharaja’s palace. The two strangers turn out to be the Maharajas and this changes their destiny.
Mumbai-based actor, model, director Nileish Malhotra has acted in films such as Gandhi, The Deceivers and Bollywood. Hanki Panki is his first English film as director. He is working on an international project as director/actor.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

News on the 66th Cannes Film Festival - May 15 to 26

Ms. Varsha Bansal
Satyajit Ray's masterpiece 'Charulata', digitially restored,
will screen in Cannes Classics section

Created in 2004, Cannes Classics presents a section of restored films and lost films that have been traced and brought to light again as part of their re-release in cinemas or on DVD. Ray’s restored Pather Panchali (1955) was screened in this section in 2005. Vijay Anand’s Guide (1965)  screened in this section I in 2008, Mrinal Sen’s Kandhahar (1984)  in 2010 and Uday Shankar’s Kalpana (1948) in 2012. Cannes Classics is presented under the aegis of the Film Foundation, established in 1990 by Martin Scorsese and seven other American filmmakers. Its mission is to preserve and restore works on film in the interests of world cinema. 

The reputed Kolkata based company,  RDB Entertainment, has recently completed the ‘frame-by-frame’ restoration work in 2K resolution of Ray's classic, Charulata. This newly restored print will be showcased at Cannes on Saturday 18th May at 4.30 pm in Salle Bunuel. The screening will be attended by our RDB Entertainment's  Director and Head of International Sales, Ms.Varsha Bansal, who was closely involved during the restoration process and she will be present at the Cannes screening of 'Charulata'.
Apart from 'Charulata', RDB Entertainment  are the producers and world right-holders of five other classics of  Satyajit Ray, namely Mahanagar, Nayak, Kapurush, Mahapurush, Jai Baba Felunath.

All the six titles have been digitally restored using the original 35mm camera negatives, preserved by the producers R.D.B & Co. The negative RDB es were scanned ‘frame-by frame’ on 2K resolution and restored on that resolution as well. Over 300 technicians worked on the films in the last one year to make the film look as close to the way Mr.Ray had envisaged when he first shot  them almost 60 years back.

On analysis of the negatives, many kinds of defects were found such as Dust/Dirt, Single Frame Scratches, Patches, Continuous Line Scratch, Running Scratches, Vertical Band, Horizontal Scratch, Flicker and Mold defects, Bump, Squeeze, Stabilization, Vertical/Horizontal translation of the frame/footage , Gate Hair, Continuous dust, Continuous Patches and Film Tear .

All the above-mentioned defects were fixed without creating artefacts. Depending on the complexity of the shots, all techniques involved a use of a combination of filters by means of a semi automatic process followed by manual retouching which involved digitally cleaning each image (frame by frame) and rebuilding parts from the clean frames.

For the sound restoration, the source had significant low-frequency pops, clicks and crackle and much noise and hiss. As part of the process, the sound went through detailed micro-level manual restoration for spot noise elimination - such as crackle and pops. The restored sound has come out well, close to what would have been "the original sound" - barring the dull effect of the Academy Filter used in the original recording, which could not be undone.

The restoration was completed in India at Pixion Studios / Cameo Media Labs and was commissioned by RDB Entertainments, which is an associate company of the production company RDB & Co.

Charulata (The Lonely Wife)
1964, Bengali, b&w, 117 mins 
Cast: Madhabi Mukherjee, Soumitra Chatterjee, Sailen Mukherjee, Syamal Ghosal, Gitali Roy, Bholanath Koyal, Suku Mukherjee, Dilip Bose.
Written, composed and directed by Satyajit  Ray

Charulata: The lonely Wife, based on Rabindranath Tagore’s story, revolves around the childless, intelligent and beautiful wife Charu, who lives a  wealthy, secluded and idle life in 1870’s Calcutta. Her husband, Bhupati, spends all his time running his press. Sensing Charu’s plight, he invites his brother-in-law Umapada and his wife as house guests. Amal, Bhupati’s younger cousin also arrives after his graduation. Charu and Amal spend hours over literature, poetry and the arts.