Thursday, February 2, 2023

SHORTS – 2020: The two day digital event that rekindled joys down memory lane

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur: The COVID-19 pandemic could not stop the creative journey of SHORTS – the annual short film festival of Jamshedpur. In its 13th year, SHORTS 2020 was on a Virtual Format as a physical festival was not possible. Spearheaded by Jamshedpur’s Society for Promotion of Professional Excellence (SPPE) jointly with Take5 Communications of Kolkata, this Centre for Excellence (CFE) initiative showcased some of the best films from the festival’s archives. The pleasant trip down memory lane was a boon for the regulars of SHORTS as they relived the exciting times of the annual event’s forays into their minds and hearts thus making for memorable rendezvous with the earlier dozen yester years.

The annual event of SHORTS could not be held in the cherished CFE auditorium this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic protocols rightly in place but the joint organizers had no inclination to disappoint the fans of this much eagerly awaited annual event. Thus, the digital format was utilized and it resulted in over enthusiastic response. Moreover, understandably, filmmakers in this genre could not come up with their productions on time due to upset showbiz schedules necessitated by the worldwide pandemic. This provided the perfect opportunity to pave the way for a revisit to the memories of the past 12 years. The blast from the past caught the attention of movie lovers of the steel city and across the country and even from abroad who were glued to their sets on November 27 and 28 from 6 pm to 7 pm each day catching the film festival on- line that streamed on Cisco Webex. 

The e- film festival opened with JIHAD, a film about the word ‘Jihad’ getting misunderstood globally, directed by Tathagata Battacherjee followed by MY

 LITTLE STEPS, a film about initiating the ‘Clean India’ concept, directed by Hill Top School student Mondrita Chatterjee. The rest of the evening saw Omer Farooque’s DUPATTA – a film about water conservation, Prithwish Boral’s REASON – a film about saving and educating the girl child, Sourav Pal’s SOUND OF SILENCE – a film about Noise Pollution, Meet Vasudevan’s RANGREZ- a film about innocent wishes of underprivileged children, Partha Bhattacharjee’s I LOVE INDIA – a film about discovering the inner beauty of our country and lastly Nikhil Sharda’s THE BEST GIFT – a film about menstrual hygiene

On Day 2 of the film festival saw seven films beginning with MIND MATTERS, a film about different types of mental illness, directed by Abhishek Ganguli with National Award winning Film Director Ashok Viswanathan in the lead role. Six more films followed – Sanjiban Nath’s THE WALTZ – a film about the importance of companionship in old age, Partho Sarathi Manna’s GANDH – a film about why no good work should be looked down upon, Debajyoti Batabyal’s HUM MEHFOOZ NAHIN – a film about women’s safety, Mini Pandey’s SMILE VS. SMILEYS – a film about the importance of a smile that is disappearing in today’s times, Yogendra Sahu’s ABANDONED – a film about the crisis of abandoned children and the Closing Film being DBMS English School student Nitashi Sharda’s BANDE HAIN HUM USKE – a film about the right to education for every child. This film was a DBMS English School presentation.

All the fifteen films that were screened in SHORTS 2020 addressed vital issues and were made by both professional and amateur film makers including two students. The films ranging between three and fifteen minutes were in English, Hindi, Bengali and one in Arabic Language and some silent presentations. The Directors of these films are from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Dhanbad and Jamshedpur. Most of these films have travelled to several film festivals in the country and abroad and continue to  provide much food for thought.

Te Event Organisers Merlin Anklesaria and Tathagata Bhattacherjee from SPPE and TAKE 5 respectively hope to be back next year on a physical format like before with a bouquet of fresh short films which would be a treat to all eyes and thinking minds.

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