Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mumbai University's International Film Festival

As part of Mumbai University's sesquecentennial year celebrations it joined hands with the Films Division and came up with an innovative idea of International Film Festival. The festival was held at 6venues of which one was Somaiya college(my college!!) and was highly appreciated by the students community. The major audience for this fest was the BMM(Bachelor of Mass Media) community and we bmmittes appreciate the university's move. for the first time the students got the chance to watch some excellent parallel cinema including documentaries , biographies and short films. some movies were excellent and some were too boring but then the combination of cinema was applaudable.
the movies that i liked :

1.The Little Terrorist directed by Ashvin Kumar
The story is set near the Indo-Pak border, it talks about human emotions, cultural differences, prejudices ,and the dogmatic values that we still believe in, differences between a hindu and a mouslem. i loved the last scene because when the young boy finaly crosses the Indian border and reaches home(Pakistan) his hair is shaved and his mother starts beating him and he starts laughing , that young boy's laughter talks so much that even words would have fallen short if that scene had to be expressed in some other way.

2.Riding solo to the top of the world by gaurav Jani
The major attraction of this movie was its camera work and adventurous story line. the added attraction which realy interested me was the fact that the movie was shot by himself while he was on screen. the way he has shot the scenes is excellent. to tell the truth i really dont believe that this kind of work can be done by anyone because it was simply awesome. the camera angles were so good that the character was never out of screen , no mistake in taking the shots , wonderfully shot movie and his way of explaining his journey was simple yet was a bit too lengthy but then nobody complains when one is watching some excellent work.

3.the animated movies like The Thinker, The Balloon, You Said It and Raju and I stole the show. the concepts were well executed and Raju and i used some new techniques and the way the story ends makes it more commendable.

4.Vietnam Symphony by Tom Zubrycki
This documentary uses archival clips which are rare and the story is absolutely different. how music healed people during times of war, their courage, willingness to spread happiness and provide strength to others is appreaciable. the Hanoui house's present condition and the people who survived to tell the tale is simply touching. a marvelous work which raises the bar of documentary makers!!

5.Mallika Sarabhai a biography by Arunaraje Patil.
Personally this one i loved the most , the biography focuses on her personal and professional commitments and how she handles everything so beautifully, her perceptions and mottos. a film which makes you think once about how people can differ with the choices that they make!!!

6.The black road :On the Front Lines of Ache's War by William Nessen
This documentary was shot in two parts first in 1999 then in 2001during tsunami. Aches is a small island which is a part of Indonesia whereas Ache's people want complete independence. this documentary has been a phenomenal help to solve the indonesian and Ache's issue because during the first peace meet William was also invited to be a part of this move , as freelance journalist his approach towards this issue is unbiased and yet it clearly shows the atrocities of GAM people and the Indonesian forces. excellent job by the director.

7.Zero degrees of separation by Elle Flanders
a documentary shot in Palestine, the story has two narrators, walking in two different lines in the same place. one for stopping the atrocities of israeli forces on palestenian people and the other seeking freedom not from any dictator but freedom from the clutches laid by the government. the right to live and express herself.wonderfully shot this documantary uses the maximum amount of symbolism than any other movie that i saw. the metaphors are so well skecthed that it makes us think what movie making is all about.

8. Satyajit Ray by Shyam Benegal (cinematogaphy by Govind Nihalani)
Satyajit Ray's biography is every movie makers delight. the shortlisted clips from his movies were good and the way Ray was explaining the shots, his camera work and sound effect was like icing on the cake. his way of capturing a scene and the delicateness of music and silence was simply superb.must watch for an amteur film maker.

I have not given the story details but only an overview of what i liked in these movies because if i narrate the stories then the charm will be lost if you hapen to see these movies. the movies are excellent and their were some like Homi Bhabha :making of a scientist which were boring enough to make the audiences think "when can i leave the auditorium?"
the film festival gave me a new insight into the world of cinema, now when i watch movies its not only acting but yes i really look forward to many more aspects of movie making.i hope such festivals continue to happen and gives the students a chance to witness sensible and internationally acclaimed cinema.

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