Sunday, 20 December 2015

SIGNS Film Festival 2015

When our film got selected in SIGNS Film Festival 2015 i was surprised. So far all the important festivals in Kerala were rejecting it. I thought that they must have made a mistake. When i participated in the festival because i was anyway going home for my recording of playback project i realized that most people there thought that Gruhapravesham [Moving In] was a film that needed to be watched. I was surprised again.

While i have my own guesses why it was being rejected by festivals like VIBGYOR and IDSFFK, i realized that it was all subjective. These guesses seemed to be the exact reason why the film was selected at SIGNS. The jury gave a special mention to the film. I had a talk with jury chairperson Deepa Dhanraj after the ceremony and what she said made me feel much better. It was a ray of hope after a long period of dejection. She said that she felt like showing the film to her daughter. Asked me to send her a link.

This is my festival diary. There were some really good films and some very bad ones. The biggest problem i encountered there was sloppy projections, pathetic acoustics and feeble turn out of viewers.

21st October
Anaadidhara G Aravindan
About folk dance forms of india. It is just information giving buthe has tried different and new things. Such a wonder to see this variety of art forms lined together. Tracking down from top [crane down] to reveal the costume and the artist [copy update: did already]. The goal is to reveal. I think it is best achieved that way in the case of costume and that kind of an art form.

Kalamandalam Gopi
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Has tried to bring his own story telling methods into his documentary. Like childhood to adult transformation of Gopi in one mise-en-scene. Also introducing his wife and kalamandalam other guy who plays female roles with him often. Gopi is telling his story as scripted by Adoor. For the first time with subtitles, i enjoyed Kathakali. To enjoy it only english subtitles are required, in my opinion.

Awakenings - Short Film

DI and colour correction and what not. Horror feeling attempted. Hollywood model. Achieved to an extent but falls flat in some places. I saw excellent possibilities with the boy child who has sexual feelings for his babysitter. Didn't use that. The line 'children are watching us'.

Waves of Music
Pathetic documentary on Kochi's music culture.

Nice documentary.
The opening sequence was BRILIIANT. Ends with wife tying something to the old husband's neck. Rohinton Mistry. The sweetening of milk shots were great too.
Some portions again went to just information giving mode. But still good. Shot BRILLIANTLY.

About film makers in jail. Mystifying and clorifying the process of film making. I believe it should be like Day for Night. Not like this. Gimmickry.

Magic Print
Loved it Printing of clothes. Nice sound work. Nice photography. So nice to look at. Lacks narative but it's okay.

Penile code

Didn't like the parts where news was simply read on black screen. But otherwise good. A penis comes to a woman lesbian. Why not gay. Denying agency of gay people.

Aandolan - Vaibhav Hiwase
Brilliant. About a problem faced by villagers and how they battle it. All the scenes with the old man and the man who is a martyr and his mother who loses her senses and calls for him at night. The bird. The man's trembling hands feeding the bird. The male lead has performed really well. The way the film ends with him jogging in the room. Really good.

Ore Udal.
Didn't like it. Sajitha Madhathil as a nun. She gets raped and has a child. Bad film.

Importantbecause it is voice from that place. Bad film. Woman killing police officer who tries to rape her. Drinks alcohol. Why is it called hunger. Their problems should see light.

Dark Frames
A porn video wife. Husband. She is sending him pictures in bra etc. His colleague tells him. He becomes confused. Tries to do the same with her. She gets suspicious. They reconcile. Man leaves phone in autorickshaw. That portion horrible. What does that mean. Revenge porn doesn't exist is what is implied.

Kapila - Sanju Surendran
Didn't like the home-family portion. Chanting etc.

Scattered Clouds - Debja Ni.
Documentary about lonliness. The director's loneliness. The portion the taxi in which the taxi driver talks about it is against the essence of the film, i felt. But that's again truth.

Deepa Dhanraj was asked why she was addicted to documentary film makers. Four years of working in Kannada she was no interested in fiction. Intimate association with people you are filming. This stays even after filming. In a documentary film where does a film end and reality begin. Have you done justice. Have you done justice to the issue
It's a collaborative practice. You both (the director and the subject) want to bring out the story. That's not the way i film. The human relationship takes over. What does it require you to do. That human relationship.
Thekind of creativity shown in documentaries in india outshines fiction film making.
Eradication of education system in india. So many colleges in Gujarath removed humanities totally. Eduction is to serve industry according to Modi. Then it is very narrow. We have to teach humanities.

Invoking Justice
Women speaking up from muslim community has a huge impact. Speak up in front of men. The final outcome is not winning the case. Small societal changes.

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