Make time for 138 movies from 19 countries at Chennai’s first International Short Film Festival
THE Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF) is one of the landmarks of the city’s annual social calendar, and now, it’s getting a partner. Srinivasa Santhanam, one of the advisers behind CIFF, is launching Chennai’s first International Short Film Festival. “A lot of directors who make short films go on to become big directors—like Balaji Tharane-etharan who made Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom in 2012. This festival is for all those who want to make it big in the industry,” says Santhanam. The festival, which is from February 20 to 23, will showcase 138 films from 19 countries—including the US, Turkey, Iran, France, Spain, Estonia, Bangladesh and Syria.
The films belong to a variety of genres. “I was part of the preview committee and I loved each film,” says Santhanam. They will be categorised into fiction, documentary and animation, and will be around 20 minutes long. According to Chennaiite Kumar Mystic, who made the silent movie Boom, the film festival will be very useful. “I have narrated my scripts to several producers, but no one is interested. This festival will give a platform for people like me who want to make it in the industry,” says the director, whose movie is about a suicide bomber with an artistic bent of mind. Priyanka Tanvar is coming down from Mumbai to showcase her movie, Little Big George. “My movie is about a fat boy who has the capacity to create a dish just by looking at the ingredients. He does not care that the world mocks him,” she says. The film has already won the Jury Award at the Mumbai Short Film Festival.
To be precise
A graduate of the Adyar Film Institute, Santhanam, along with his partners Sivan Kannan and B Ramakrishnan, had been nursing the idea to start a short film festival for some time now. “We believe that if a filmmaker is talented enough to convey a story within a short time, then he is ready to make a feature film. We have invited Balaji Tharaneetharan to be the chief guest,” says Santhanam, who curated the Chennai International Film Festival in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Talking about trends in films, he says, “Most of the Indian feature films have come down to 120-130 minutes because people are not keen on watching movies that are too long. I’ve observed that the CIFF audience like it when the movies are short. Short films are popular among the young audience, too, and social media sites are doing well with them. Of course, one cannot replace the other, and both will survive,” he concludes.
● Kupeli, by Cetin Baskin and Akdemir from Turkey, is about the Küpeli swimming pool. However, it might be demolished for an urban regeneration project.
● Myosis, by Gobelings I’mage from France, follows the story of a man – a face in the crowd – slowly losing his humanity as he commutes towards a giant, omnipresent cubic monstrosity.
● Miruna by Piotr Sulkowski from Poland is about a young woman who is attracted to a stranger whom she meets after fighting
with her lover.
The opening cenremony will be held at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, on February 20, at 5.30 pm. Details: 9003258256
- Mrinalini Sundar