No bull this time

INDIAN FILMMAKER UMESH Kulkarni brings his award-winning documentary Three of Us to this year’s Gulf Film Festival.

By Adam Zacharias

Published: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 10:13 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 10:56 PM

The 15-minute short film focuses on the severely disabled Yogendra, who is bedridden, and his elderly parents who fear for his fate once they pass away.

According to Umesh, the film is an “unsentimental” observation of an ordinary day — albeit for a family that is far from ordinary. Yogendra’s mother cooks and his father delivers newspapers, while he reads with the aid of a magnifying glass he holds with his feet.

“You have to make something which can reach to the people, but at the same time you have to say what you want to say about our lives,” the Pune native told City Times.

The Marathi-language short has so far won Grand Jury Awards at film festivals in Norway, France and Italy, after it premiered in Berlin last year. It has also been named the best documentary at festivals in Brazil, India and Portugal.

However, Umesh insists he is not interested in awards. “The best thing about short films is you’re not competing with anyone,” he said. “You can really express a very small idea, and the kind of experimentation one can do is really amazing. You don’t have to sell a short film, or become rich or recover the money.”

Umesh has brought a second short film to the festival, a 22-minute piece entitled Girni (The Grinding Machine).

“The grinding machine comes as a means of survival, but it becomes impossible for the kid to be in the house with the sound of the machine,” he said. “It’s about the irony of life — when we start to care about our survival, it envelops our freedom.”

Umesh added that he was delighted to attend the Gulf Film Festival. “I’m really curious to see the films made by Arab filmmakers about life in the Arab countries,” he said, “because we have never seen it in any feature film or even in short films. It will be very interesting to see.”

Watch these:

Three of Us will show from 7pm on Wednesday April 15 at Grand Festival Cinema 3, Dubai Festival City.

Girni (The Grinding Machine) will show at 9:45pm on Wednesday April 15 at Grand Festival Cinema 3, Dubai Festival City.

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