The invite is concise and clear — come and celebrate independent cinema, it’s free and independent. It’s that time of the year again, when the Chandigarh Creative Cinema Circle creates a platform for independent film-makers and film buffs of Chandigarh to come together on a common platform and view life’s many facets, stories and experiences in new frames and forms.
The 4th Chandigarh Cinema Festival is back with a brand-new repertoire of films by filmmakers like Nishtha Jain, Gitanjali Rao, Vivek Gomber, Shilpi Gulati, to name a few.
The three-day festival, beginning August 28, gives a chance to view the real issues that consume a filmmaker’s creative process and how he translates it all on reel, experimenting, visualising and conceptualising films that make you think and feel.
“This year, the number of filmmakers participating in the festival is more, and we also have a filmmaking workshop conducted by Sudarshan Juyal, an FTII alumunus,’’ says Gursimran, a member of the Cinema Circle.
The festival opens on August 28 at 5pm at the Government Museum and Art Gallery with the screening of the acclaimed film Court by Chaitanya Tamhale. A sewage worker’s dead body is found in a manhole in Mumbai and an ageing folk singer is tried in trial court against the charges of abetment to suicide. He is accused of performing a song which may have incited the worker to commit suicide. The Court was premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival, 2014, where it won an award, and the film won the national award for the best feature film.
On August 29, watch Short Shots from 11 am to 1.30pm, a bouquet of 15 short films by independent filmmakers from various parts of the country.
Later in the day, The Girl by Shashwati Talukdar depicts the violence and horror of childhood while Hotel Shagun by Gursimran Datla is a dark tale of three persons who don’t want to go an extra mile to let the flow and direction of their lives take a different course.
The Other Song by Saba Dewan traces the life, journey and music of Rasoolan bai, the well-known singer from Varanasi, who recorded for the gramophone a thumri that she would never sing again.
Two animated films by Gitanjali Rao portray various emotions and journeys while Nishtha Jain brings to screen Call it Slut, a miniature portrait of a wickedly outrageous and compassionate transgender woman who fearlessly takes on patriarchal attitudes and pokes fun at middle class morality. By the same director is a film Lakshmi and Me, which shows that even in a metropolis like Bombay, old feudal attitudes still govern relationships between employers and their ‘servants’.
On the last day of the festival will be screened six movies, starting with Atithi by Gyandev, an adaptation of story The Visitor by Rabindranath Tagore, which is set in contemporary, rural Punjab.
A Life Changing Journey of Doing Right by Pankaj Trivedi, Biker’s Travelogue is an absorbing, insightful and powerful series that charts the real life stories of selfless people and communities and their determination to succeed against all odds.
City of Photos by Nishtha Jain explores the little known ethos of neighborhood photo studios in Indian cities, discovering entire imaginary worlds in the smallest of spaces.
Qissa-e-Parsi, the Parsi story by Shilpi Gulati and Divya Cowasji traces the rich history and lives of the Parsis in India, and how this influential, albeit small community, has helped shape the city of erstwhile Bombay into the metropolis it is today.
Izzatnagri ki Asabhya Betiyan by Nakul Sawhney explores the murkier side of rural society while exploring the stories of five brave women who stood up to challenge the traditional fort of patriarchal society and male dominance in the state of Haryana.
“The creative design of the festival portrays the imprint of the city, as designed by Le Corbusier, and reflects the soul of the city. On 29th, we will screen short films by amateur residential film-makers of the city. The festival is a unique amalgamation of fiction and documentaries,’’ sums up A P Mishra of the Circle.