On Tuesday evening,the winners of the Express Short Films Festival were felicitated at The Gallery,Express Towers,in Mumbai. The festival,presented by Loksatta and The Indian Express and powered by Bank of India,in its first edition this year,has been set up to celebrate short films and filmmakers,and to provide a platform for young talent.
The jury,comprising noted actor Sonali Kulkarni,directors Abhinay Deo and Mangesh Hadavale,and advertising veterans Bhupal Ramnathkar and Gopi Kukde shortlisted five films of the 200 entries they received and the winners were announced earlier this month.
Chennai-based Sathish Chandrasekaran received the Best Direction award for his Sathish Chandrasekaran BE MBS (Bar),which deals with the academic choices a young boy is forced to take in his life. The Best Film award went to Piyush Thakurs Khara Karodpati (The Real Millionaire),which is about a man who loses in the famous television show,Kaun Banega Crorepati. Ameya Gore won the Best Editing award for Face Lift,that dealt with Mumbai cotton mills shutdown and the people who lost their jobs. Mrunmayee Kubers D for Google won the award for the Best Documentary Film. It traces the evolution of Googles famous web page doodles. Vishal Kumbhar bagged the Best Film (social cause) award for his depiction of water shortage in remote villages of India in Thembe Thembe Tale Sathe.
The award winning films,five to 15 minutes long,were screened at the ceremony and the awardees were felicitated by Anand Gandhi,director of the acclaimed Ship of Theseus,and producer-actor Sohum Shah.
Carefully studying each film and deciding on the best five was a challenge,Kulkarni admitted. Some films were exceptional while others were elementary. But the fact that amateurs are not hesitating to make films is a huge step forward for this medium, she added.
Gandhi lauded the participating talent and said he found a moment of resonance in each film. Pointing that all the directors were below 25 years of age,he said it was the responsibility of a filmmaker to constantly invent,explore and discover. Instead of repeating what has been done,young talent should push the boundaries of aesthetics and create a form of communication that hasnt been explored, he said.