13th Madurai Film Festival
Student films from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad: Curated by Arun Gupta
1) VERANDAH : Direction: Anoodha Kunnath
A young girl, brought up away from Kerala (her birthplace), grapples with her relationship to her mother tongue. She is prone to imagination and constantly tries to personify the elusive language. By trying to give it a face, she hopes to come to terms with the fact that it has made her stand out from the people she wanted to be a part of.
She visits Kerala for her vacations and when her uncle tells her of a long ago incident, she weaves stories in her mind from the characters he talks of. Her isolation and loneliness reflects in the characters she interacts with and imagines.
2) ‘A dream called America’; Direction: Anoop Sathyan; Duration: 24 Min
It is a documentary made on Shahbaz, a 15 year old boy from Gujarat, India. He is the third among the five children of his father Aftab who makes a living by repairing cycles on a footpath. Shahbaz had studied in the US for a year on a scholarship, where he was hosted by an American couple. The one year he spent in US changed his attitude as he experienced a very comfortable and carefree life than his real home. After reaching India, he badly wants to go back and settle in US, leaving his parents in a dilemma.
3) “KEY”: Direction: Bharat Parmar; Duration: 28 min
Loosing keys must be common experience of all of us. This is what this film is trying to capture. It tells different stories of loosing keys and finding a way out. It explores the nature of helplessness and extreme dependence in emergencies.
All the stories revolve around one key maker who makes duplicate keys in emergencies.
4) 7th Sense: Director: Farooq Mohamed; Duration: 33: 26
Who is really blind? The film sets out to explore the lives of Mancharam - a physiotherapist, LC - a worker in an incense stick factory, Subhash - a liftman & Laxman - a petty shop owner-all residents of a hostel for the blind. Away from their actual home, they bring in togetherness with like people in their new one is this Hostel which provides shelter for these four and more.
5) CIPHER: Director: George K Antoney; Runtime: 23m 30s
The film is a suspense drama involving 5 different stories from different stratas of the society. Shiva inherits a “mysterious suitcase” after his father’s death. Guna, a thief who turned into an actor gets his first dialogue scene ever. Vikram, a driver who is desperately in need of money to repay his loan is ready to do anything to get that money. Kishan, a crippled cobbler is in a self destructive mode as he is frustrated with life and to add salt to wound, Johnson an annoying kid keeps irritating him. Rayudu a Business man also has his eye on the mysterious suitcase. These seemingly disconnected lives are crisscrossed by the path of the suitcase putting them through the darkest moments of their lives.
6) Sultangunj: Direction: Hari Udayakumar; Duration: 15mins
A riot hit town, Sutangunj which is no more a place to live in or trusted in. Two friends accused of a crime, Mani & Selvan. A victimized father and daughter, Khalid & Sakina. All of them are on a run to their only hope of escape, reaching the highway on Sunrise. At the crossroads, choices were to be made, relations to be chosen, face betrayal, hatred, love and finally, meet the wrath of their own destiny as they continue fighting the other worldly evils.
7) ‘Budhan Diaries’ by K. Harish Singh; Duration: 24 min
Budhan theatre is a theatre group based in Chharanagar in Ahmedabad, India. What makes this group different from other theatre groups is the fact that it is run by ‘Chharas’. Chharas are a tribe which were regarded as ‘Born Criminals’ by the British and later they were given the status of a DNT (Denotified and Notorious Tribe), because of their involvement in theft, liquor making and other such crimes. The film follows three members of the theatre group talking and getting to know more about the theatre group. This film is a journey which the director takes to know more about the group’s functioning in the community. It gets into questions and answers of Budhan theatre’s existence.
8) Poka: Direction: Ishanee Sarkar
Sumon is a little boy who is kept imprisoned in his room by a woman who could be his mother. His reality and nightmares are intermingle and makes us question what is really happening. The film is a non-liner mood piece and is open to different interpretations.
9) THE OCEAN: Direction: Malhar Salil; Duration: 27:53 min
This is a story about an educated (but preoccupied in chores) ,house-wife Saroj. She argues with her son Manna about the beauty in alphabets he is unable to comprehend. It is a story about Manna's father who talks about the problem of a livelihood, but is not able to reciprocate or understand the real deal in his own life. Manna craves to !nd the pearl for his mother...he does not know what a "Pearl" is? A !sher boy is lost in fables about his Mamu's Hero-isms and the lake.
Mamu talks about the wonderous lake of Bhopal. Everyone has their take on life. This is a !lm about two metaphors, the metaphor of the Sea (samudra) and the Pearl (moti). They metaphorically create endless angles in the story.
10) 'The Creeper, the alien & other stories' : Direction: Sandhya Ramachandran
'The Creeper, the alien & other stories' is a fascinating journey through the collection of objects of one man. Ashish Lakhia- documentary filmmaker, writer and artist- has been collecting quirky odds and ends for a really long time. His collection through the ages has built up to fill his entire house, so much so that, he doesn't know what to do with it now. Amidst rotting newspapers and fading paints, bizarre and beautiful objects pop up- full of stories behind them, tales as fantastic as the man that owns them!