A bunch of aficionados puts together an international short film fest in the city.
Mohak Mathur is a regular guy. He works the tough, sometimes excruciating, hours of an investment banker during the week and enjoys hanging out with friends and family over the weekend. Yet, when quizzed about his passion, his decisive response is: short films. Probe further and he says, “We live in a fast-paced world, where instant gratification has become a byword. Like a 20-20 match, short films pack important messages in potent, small packages.” This appreciation of short film as a medium of entertainment and communication has culminated in the creation of Filmbooth, a Delhi-based society for short film lovers.
Formed two years ago by five young men, including Mathur, from the corporate world, the Filmbooth community celebrates the medium and those who dabble in it. “Short film makers need a good platform in India,” says Kunal Deshpande, a Bombay-based short film maker. Short films, he feels, do not receive enough publicity, even when they are wildly popular like was established at the 2010 MAMI Film Festival in Mumbai.
While a number of admen like Pradeep Sarkar, Abhinay Deo and Vijay Lalwani have gone on to create successful full-length films, he laments that far fewer short film makers are able to make the jump. There aren’t many in India like M. Night Shyamalan, of The Sixth Sense fame and The Last Airbender infamy, who gained success in Hollywood.
To capture the imagination of professional and amateur short film aficionados alike, Filmbooth has collaborated with the STAND UP Coalition Team to put together ‘EIGHT’, an international short film festival held in Delhi this week. Inaugurated by Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor, EIGHT was the second short film festival Filmbooth has organised since its inception.
The festival screened short films by luminaries such as Gus Van Sant, Mira Nair and Jane Campion — all of which were centered on themes relevant to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to reduce the proportion of global poverty and hunger from 20 per cent to 10 per cent by 2015.
Asked about the ultimate goal of the festival, Mathur says, “We want to be a catalyst for creative talent in India and help take these social message to the policy makers.”