Two films made by NID-Ahmedabad students will be screened this week at a festival in Lahore, among other short films made by Pakistani and international filmmakers. Songs of the Synagogue by Bhushitendu Bhatt and Nugli and Tunes of Yore by Sawanth Sanghe will be screened as part of the 9th Vasakh International Documentary Film Festival to be held between 29-30 April in Lahore. NID has been participating in the festival for the last two years, said Arun Gupta, Principal Faculty & Coordinator, Film & Video, at NID.
The 14-minute-long Songs of the Synagogue is based on the Bene Israel Jewish community of Ahmedabad comprising a mere 130 members and is centered on protagonist Joseph Pingle “Johnny” — an important stakeholder of the community as well as the caretaker of the only synagogue in Gujarat, the Magen Abraham Synagogue. The film talks about his multi-layered relationship with the synagogue.
“After reading about the synagogue on the internet, I got interested in it and also got in touch with several members of the Jewish community and attended a few of their events as well,” said Bhushitendu Bhatt, final year UG student at NID. His other documentary, Juma on Ahmedabad’s Jama Masjid, was screened at the Future Film Festival organised by the British Film Institute (BFI) this March.
Meanwhile, 25-minute-long Nugli and Tunes of Yore, based on the dying musical folklore of ancient tribe Halakki Vokalligas of north Karnataka, has also been accepted for the Cannes Short Film Corner 2016 set to be held next month, said filmmaker and NID graduate Sawanth Sanghe.
The film portrays the classic tradition versus modernity conflict through the eyes of a community woman — Nugli, in her 50s and a treasure trove of folk songs. Sanghe has received an invitation to visit Cannes and his film will be available throughout the whole event in the Cannes video library from May 16 -22.