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SHORTS -21: Bouquet of twelve social posers over two days of engrossing delight

Jamshedpur, Nov 29: SHORTS is an annual mark on the calendar of expectations of not only city film buffs and enthusiasts of Jamshedpur but across creative India and abroad. This joint venture of the Society For Promotion of Professional Excellence (SPPE), Tata Steel and Take5 Communications of Kolkata, has provided a platform for budding celluloid creators and weather-beaten and reputed filmmakers to be on the same page through 2008. SHORTS – 21 organized online on November 26 and 27, was the 14th annual essay of this pulsating journey through 14 ‘short’ years  that has continued to reveal a growing list of talented filmmakers cradled at this event and now setting benchmarks across the tinsel towns of Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and elsewhere.

Akin to the previous year, 2020, this year too, SHORTS was organized on virtual platform in view of the prevailing COVID air and in accordance with government protocols. But, as the joint organizers pointed out, the next outing in the form of SHORTS -22 will hopefully be physical and the audience will be back with the usual gusto to view compelling presentations and discuss and share the creativities on celluloid.

The bouquet of 12 films ranging between three and eighteen minutes were divided into a lot of six presentations on each day. These engaging vehicles of creativity wrapped in social and conscience posers, were themed on topics that included environment conservation, abortion, upbringing, drug abuse and lockdown effects and were in Bengali , English and Hindi languages with entries form Jamshedpur, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

One important point of observation is that SHORTS has always bolstered the creative ambitions of women with a penchant for celluloid expression. Women like Nichita Roy Upadhyay, Mini Pandey and more recently, Veronika Kayal have created space for themselves with their astute and progressive celluloid creations that have evoked critical appreciation. SHORTS -21 was no different with Mini Pandey’s directorial venture, ‘Eco Friendly’ as the opening film of this season. Mini, incidentally, is from Jamshedpur and is currently working in New Delhi. Another film shown on the inaugural day was ‘Secret Confessions of Men – Fidelity’ by Veronika Kayal jointly with Arambhik Ghosh. The other films screened on Day -1 of SHORTS – 21 were ‘Parvarish’ by Meet Vasudevan, ‘Mudraa’ by veteran director Abhishek Ganguli, ‘Sweekar’ by Sayandip Sikder and ‘Yaara’ by Yogendra Sahu.

The second and final day’s presentation commenced with Sailen De’s, ‘She,’ that dealt with the very sensitive subject of abortion. The other breath-takers included theatre veteran Tathagata Chowdhury’s, ‘The Solace,’ ‘Look Up to Lockdown,’ by another astute filmmaker, Debajyoti Batabyal, ‘Tosh,’ by Nikhil Sharda, ‘Lost and Found’ by Sumanta Ghosh and closed with ‘The Belt Saga,’ by Ananye Goel, a student of Pathways World School, Aravali.

The best way to sum up the efforts behind SHORTS – 21 would be to quote Jamshedpur short film maker, editor and cinematographer, Partho Bhattacharjee who observed, “Shorts have always fascinated me and the likes of me. Although the consecutive two versions of SHORTS (’20 and ’21) were virtual, they left no room for complaint. The 12 films were brilliant in their presentations and one needs to thank SPPE and Take5 Communications for the excellent selection of movies that were featured during this year’s outing too. We look forward to more exciting encounters in SHORTS – 22, which hopefully will be physical with the COVID scare dwindling further.”       

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