Quirky love story, thriller or comedy? Take your pick as four first time directors present Chaar Cutting
Short films allow filmmakers to enter uncharted territory—be it Karan Johar and Zoya Akhtar’s films as part of cinematic anthology Bombay Talkies or Anurag Kashyap with Mumbai Cutting. We also have city-based Karthik Subbaraj who gave us Bench Talkies featuring six movies, this year. And now get ready for, Chaar Cutting, featuring four stories—Skin Deep (Hardik Mehta), Blouse (Vijayeta Kumar), Manila Running (Anuj Gulati), and Bawdi (Vivek Soni). More from the directors:
Hardik Mehta looked forward to every Friday in a week. An engineer, he had a membership in a DVD store in Baroda, from where he would rent movies and spend half his salary. On second attempt, he got through Jamia Millia Islamia college. He assisted Vikramaditya Motwane for his film Lootera and also worked on Vikas Bahl’s Queen. His debut film, Skin Deep is a quirky love story. “It is about a couple who want to elope and get married. When they try to make love, the guy realises that he cannot perform thanks to his foreskin. That’s the crux of the story,” begins the 28-year-old. Mehta’s mentor and script writer, Motwane encouraged him to make this film. “We have a mixed bag. We have off-beat films like Piku, ambitious projects like Bombay Velvet and movies like Tanu Weds Manu Returns that is cracking people up. While even NH10 and Hunterrr get their audience,” says Mehta about the state of Bollywood, adding that Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami is his inspiration.
Anuj Gulati spent three months in Manila, Philippines in 2010.That was the time when he was learning about films. “I had to write a short script before returning to Singapore where I was pursuing my masters in film. So I began noting my daily experiences in the city. I started researching for the film and it turned into a 15 page script ready to shoot,” begins the 29-year-old. Manila Running is about a man who wants to get himself an operation, he can’t talk about. Gulati predicts that Bollywood is about to witness some exciting times.
“People have started to gain access to good film education and equipment, and the rise of digital media has only helped,” he says.
Vivek Soni read about how a Coca-Cola factory is still functioning in Kaladera, Jaipur, despite opposition and that inspires the 28-year-old for the film, Bawdi from this issue. From Rajasthan, Soni worked in Ogilvy&Mather for two years, before he signed up for a two year film making course at Whistling Woods. He then joined Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Films and says short films are safer, ‘‘Not a lot of money is at stake and it is a great platform to tell a socio-political tale,” he says.
Vijayeta Kumar had decided pretty early in life that she wanted to make films. From Ajmer, it seemed like a crazy idea to get into movies. But after studying filmmaking in Delhi, at Jamia’s Mass Communication Research Center, she soon landed up in Mumbai. Her film Blouse is a rom-com. “It’s a simple story. A wife tells her husband to get her a blouse made by a famous tailor. He doesn’t have her measurements. The film is about that,”says Kumar, 35. Interestingly, the story of Blouse was originally a short story by writer Sanjay Kumar, called Naap. And about the increasing number of short filmmakers, Kumar insists, “There are a lot of stories that don’t need to be told in two hours.’’ She adds, ‘‘It’s interesting to see people no longer hung up on formats, a certain length etc. It’s all about the content.”