Glimpses from India

GFF’s Focus segment offers a cross section of Indian short cinema



THE GULF FILM Festival (GFF) not only offers samples of the regional cinema, it also provides some snippets from beyond the GCC as well.

This year the festival, as part of its In Focus programming segment will focus on short films from India. In addition to offering cross-section of short films from established and emerging directors, there will be a panel discussing independent and short production in the subcontinent, followed by the screenings.

The panel will comprise Kiran V. Shantaram, Director of Rajkamal Studios, V. Shantaram Productions Pvt Ltd, Plaza Theatre, Mumbai and National Film Development Corporation Ltd, (NFDC); veteran film critic Sudhir Nandgaonkar, the Third Eye Asian Film Festival director; Pranav Ashar, President of film distribution company Enlighten, and filmmakers Anand Gandhi, director of Right Here Right Now, and Umesh Kulkarni, director of Three of Us, who also contributed his feature film Valu the Bull to the Dubai International Film Festival 2008.

The films in the section give a sample of the many outlooks, techniques and narrative themes in Indian independent production. Many are tales of survival against hardship: Three of Us, by Umesh Kulkarni, introduces Yogendra, who is confined to bed due to severe disability. Ganga Mukhi’s Punha (Yet Another Day) follows an old village vendor who finds no takers for his wares. In despair, he throws his goods in the river but life goes on, and so must the struggle for survival. In Kshitif (A Far Horizon), by Binitesh Baruri, a destitute trumpet player knows that his only hope is to sell off his trumpet and go to the city with his wife, but doubts if he has the will. Umesh Kulkarni’s Girni (The Grinding Machine) introduces Little Samir, his widowed mother and grandfather who have lost their mental peace to the noisy grinding machine that provides their livelihood.

Gitanjali Rao’s animated short Printed Rainbow concerns an old woman and her cat who live alone, but explore many magical worlds with the help of the woman’s collection of matchboxes. In Kshya Tra Ghya (XYZ), by Amit Dutta, a boy tells a story that he invents while narrating. The film is structured as a riddle and the answer to the riddle is another riddle or a story. Bejoy Nambiar’s Rahu weaves the lives of a motley bunch of protagonists together in tragic circumstances, under the gaze of one of the most destructive planets — Rahu. Amit Dutta’s Kramasha (To Be Continued) shows a boy who is sleeping, yet awake. A mysterious man with a black coat comes each morning. The boy has seen the man before — in his dreams.

The GFF will be held from April 9 to 15. For further information visit www.gulffilmfest.com


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