In the year 2011, when the India Film Project (IFP) -Asia’s biggest filmmaking challenge in which participants from across the globe create a film on a common theme in a time limit of 50 hours – was launched, it had received just 24 entries from Pune. The next year, the number of entries was three times of the previous year – 86. Since then, the number of entries received by IFP from Pune have consistently grown each year — 181 (2013); 355 (2014); 742 (2015) and more than 800 in 2016.
Ritam Bhatnagar, Founder, India Film Project, said, “Pune being a hub of filmmaking with the noted Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) being here, we expect a lot and every year those expectations are fulfilled. Interestingly, last year in one of our categories, Pune city was the winner. It has been an active and creative city.”
The IFP 2016 festival, to be held in October in Mumbai, will see a confluence of India’s best filmmakers coming together under one roof. More than 5,000 filmmakers from different cities will fly down to attend this gala event. The number of applicants in the sixth edition of IFP is expected to be higher than the combined number of the previous five editions.
This year, 1,300 teams comprising 25,000 participating filmmakers from across the globe have made films on one single theme in 50 hours, the common theme being – Top of the World. The filmmaking time began 8 pm on September 16 and ended on September 18 at 10 pm. Within this time span, the participating teams had to shoot, edit and upload the film, which were later viewed by the jury. The eminent jury for IFP 2016 comprised National Award-winning filmmakers — Madhur Bhandarkar, Nagesh Kukunoor, Sriram Raghavan and Southern director Vetri Maaran. The winning films will be showcased at different festivals globally.
City-based Abhilash Bende, who runs an event management company in Pune, participated in IFP for the firs time. He hails from Nagpur and shifted his firm to Pune a year ago. “I have dabbled in theatre and modelling since my college days. Generally, people from the creative field underestimate the talent of artistes of Nagpur. My friends and I participated in IFP to prove ourselves. We managed to make the film in 48 hours. For the theme, ‘Top of the World’ we portrayed a story that gives a social message – Say no to drugs — through the tale of a sketch artiste who gets into drugs, his struggle to come over it and emerge as a winner eventually.” During the 48 hours of shoot, the team members hardly manage to catch sleep for even an hour, he adds.
Pune’s Abol Wankhede, who has only edited marriage video recordings and a few short films made by his friends, took up the IPF challenge, with a group of his friends – all of who were having their first stint in filmmaking. “For the topic ‘Top of the world’, we wanted to do something experimental and abstract that portrayed the feelings when one feels on ‘top of the world’.
The story required us to shoot outdoor for at least five hours as the rest of the scenes could be shot indoors. However, we lost the precious hours as it started raining and didn’t stop for hours. Finally, when it stopped for a while, we could shoot for only 45 minutes outdoors. With this and several other challenges, we were able to finish our film and upload in exactly 50 hours,” said Wankhede, who aims to make more films in future.