City filmmakers come together to present Bench Talkies—The FirstBench an anthology film produced by Karthik Subbaraj
According to director Karthik Subbaraj, 32 short films should not be a visiting card to meet big producers. “My advice to directors is not to make a film just to add it to your portfolio. There is much more to a short film,” says the Pizza director who is producing his first anthology film, Bench Talkies—The First Bench under his venture Stone Bench Creations. He is also directing one of the films in the compilation, distributed under the banner, Bench Flix. “Six films will be compiled into a single feature. The format was previously followed for Bombay Talkies and a Malayalam film, 5 Sundarikal. Each film in Bench Talkies follows a different genre and format,” says Subbaraj, who selected the six from 2,000 entries. The five young directors (all under 30) include Anil Krishnan, Gopa Kumar, Charukesh Sekar, Monesh and Rathnakumar R M, and share a background in film making.
Space to experiment
Rathnakumar is offering a teenage love drama. “All the other films deal with heavy subjects. My part will balance it out. I add the commercial aspect to the film,” says the director, who is thankful for such a platform. “Usually, we have to go to several offices, convince the director, get a producer and then direct a film. The other route is to join as an assistant and then somehow convince a producer to get your film approved. All of this takes a long time. This platform helps directors like me to show my talent,” he says.
Monesh’s film will deal with social issues. “The story is about a school boy who faces abuse of a different kind. I wanted to bring awareness on this subject on YouTube and Facebook, but didn’t get an appropriate response. A few years ago nobody even knew about DSLR or short films. I know these 10 minutes are very precious and I have used it productively. The best part about short films is there are no restrictions and censor board regulations to deal with,” he shares. Gopakumar, whose film comes second in the compilation, is presenting a psychological thriller. “The film deals with the coalition of consciousness. A guy might be consciously proposing to a girl for the first time, but inside his head he must have done it a 100 times. We are experimenting with this concept and the film deals with a lot of chaos,” he says. And bringing a noir drama to the mix, is Sekar, who signs off saying, “It is a laid back abstract film.”
Bench Talkies — The First Bench is scheduled to release today.