Made on a meagre budget of Rs 180, Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC) student Christine Jose Sales’s Time in a Box, won this year’s Media Konnect Short Film Competition. The award is a proof that good cinema is not bounded by heavy budget. The film, along with Nikhil Sudersanan and Meena Sudersanan’s Inertia, was selected by a jury consisting of directors Viveck Vaswani, Ananth Mahadevan, and Milap Zaveri. The two films were selected from a total of 450 entries, made from across the country. The winning filmmakers will get a chance to shoot their next film at the Ramoji Krian’s Virtual Reality Floor in Hyderabad and a mentorship from industry experts. While Inertia portrays self-contradictions in a person’s decision-making process, Time in a Box is inspired by the works of Christopher Nolan. It revolves around a box that one friend gave to another for safekeeping. When he returned to get the box back, the contents of the box turn their lives upside down.
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Sales said the idea came from Jim Croce’s song Time in a Bottle. “I had heard that song from somewhere and it got stuck in my head. From there I began visualising a few scenes with the song after which the story gradually developed in my head over one or two months.”
However, he added, that the movie was made possible by pure desperation, joblessness and admiration for Christopher Nolan.
A first year MBA student from SIMC, Sales’s first movie proved to be quite a challenge for him due to budget crunch, with less than Rs 500, which made it even harder for him to find a crew or actors.
“I had to edit the film in such a way that it could be made with minimum budget. People usually think these projects are a waste of time, but I knew this was an opportunity I could not miss. Finally, my friends helped me out, and they acted for free,” said Sales.
All my efforts paid off when director Anant Mahadevan remarked that he would like to learn how to make a low-budget films from me, he added.
Surprised to have won, the Kerala-based student is hopeful that this will help him go ahead with his dream to make a feature film soon. “I am eagerly waiting to work at the Ramoji Krian Film City. Also, I got to work with Terribly Tiny Talkies. Hopefully these two opportunities will help me secure a budget or a producer for the feature film I’m currently writing. In addition, a priority would be completing my MBA,” said Sales.