Mumbai director Shubhashish Bhutiani has a lot of reasons to celebrate. Not only did his short film Kush make it as Indias only entry at the 70th Venice International Film Festival,but a recent press release by the festival authorities announced that the film has bagged the Best Innovative Budget Award.
The 20-minute film is set against the backdrop of the 1984 Sikh riots where a school teacher risks her life to protect her only Sikh student. It was selected along with the Italian film Il terzo tempo,in a category that recognises the importance of a creative approach to producing and financing quality cinema. The two films are to be screened under the Orrizonti (Horizons) category that celebrate new trends in filmmaking.
Bhutiani shot the film on a shoe-string budget by personal contributions and the three grants he got from the School of Visual Arts in New York,where he was a student. It was shot over a period of five days at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai. Bhutiani used real locations,and family members and friends as cast and is on his way to the festival. He will receive the award on September 4,in Venice.