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    Cyrus Dastur introduces us to two award-winning short films at Pocket Movies Night @ Chipstead.

    Cyrus b

    EIGHT days ago, the Taj Inner Circle and Cyrus Dastur, the founder of Shamiana—the Mumbai-based platform that’s been working since 2008 to showcase short films—launched the Pocket Movies Night, a series of curated evenings that brings the best of world shorts to a discerning audience. The Mumbai and Bengaluru editions were so popular that Dastur confesses the audience did not want to leave and he actually screened a third film. He hopes the Chennai edition will be as successful. On Sunday, at Chipstead, he will screen Time Freak, a 2013 Oscar nominee directed by Andrew Bowler—about a man and his time machine—and Lila, a film by Carlos Lascano that follows a girl with an unusual take on reality. “As we are kick-starting a new initiative, I wanted to screen happy shorts,” says the lawyer, who got into theatre and shorts films while in college, adding, “There is also a perception that shorts have to be message-oriented. My point is that it’s great if there is an issue, but it is not necessary. What’s key is that you are entertained.”
    Short and sweet
    Pointing to how much short films have grown, especially in the last few years, he attributes it to technology being more accessible and more people wanting to tell a story and share it (on YouTube, Facebook, etc). “People are constantly looking for different forms of entertainment within the same medium (cinema). And shorts allow you to tell a variety of stories that may not be possible with full-length features. Its very dynamics and economy liberates the medium,” says Dastur, who has just launched a production house, Grand Motion Pictures.
    So what’s trending, we wonder. “It’s hard to pin down since there are over 50,000 shorts being made every year in India alone. But execution is getting better, with newer cameras and techniques,” says the aficionado, who watches around 60 shorts a month, elaborating, “People are also moving away from slow narratives to crisper, faster, more engaging films. I also see many playing around with structures and frames.”
    Sunday, 7.30-10.30 pm. Details: 66002827

    —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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