It was the perfect platform for undergraduate media students to showcase their works on. Organised on October 13 and 14 by the students at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC),the short-film festival,’The East Side Story’ (TESS) also gave students the opportunity to learn from some of the most esteemed film makers in the Hindi and Marathi film industries. The two-day festival,held at the Symbiosis Auditorium at Viman Nagar featured both ad films and live action films and was attended by film personalities like Umesh Kulkarni,Piyush Jha,Manjari Makhijani and Anjum Rajabali. The festival began with the screening of acclaimed films such as ‘Girni’ – a movie which fetched Umesh Kulkarni a National Award. I do not mean to convey a sense of pathos; rather I talk about the irony of life, says Kulkarni about his film. The medium (of film) is very dear to me because one can translate ones experience into an audiovisual medium. In films,everyone gets a chance to create something which in reality,doesnt exist,and thus one should not let go of this opportunity, he adds. Amongst other films screened were Manjari Makijany’s ‘The Last Marble’; Krishna D.K.s and Raj Nidimorus short film ‘Shor’,based on which their feature ‘Shor in The City’ was made.
The second day on the other hand,provided students a chance to exhibit their own caliber. Shivendu Kudalkar,a 19 year old student from Jai Hind College bagged the Best Ad Film award and bagged a grand pize of Rs 30,000. It took me roughly 10 days to make this ad film and I’m happy to win the award, says Kudalkar. Under the Live Action category,Bahaish Kapur won the Best Cinematography award. Without any prior training from a media college,the 24-year-old now heads a company that makes computer video games.
Maulik Sharma’s film,’Baadshahat Ka Khatma’,adapted from a story written by Saadat Hasaan Munto,won him the Best Film and Best Director awards under the live action category. Sharma graduated from SIMC three months ago and is now working with a film house in Mumbai. The story might be very simple at one glance but as one goes deeper in it,one will find levels of meaning, says Sharma.
The jury for the festival included Piyush Jha,director of films such as ‘Chalo America’,’King of Bollywood’ and ‘Sikandar’; film writer Anjum Rajabali,with movies like ‘Aarakshan’,’Legend of Bhagat Singh’ and ‘Rajneeti’ to his credit,and Ajit Bhatt,cinematographer of ‘Krazzy 4’ and over 100 ad films. Brevity is a precious device in crafting films today, says Rajabali. While Bhatt commented on the necessity of marriage between technique and art,Jha advised students to look to life for inspiration”. Real life is where the best stories come from, he added.
The festival,a platform for film students and enthusiasts,also provided a chance for others to unwind and appreciate the art medium. I am not into films much but TESS provided a new outlook to cinema – I understood how powerful this medium is because of the impact that it had on me, says Nupur Sonar,an SIMCstudent.