The Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival


The seventh Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival, that kick-starts on Wednesday, will set some new highs this year. Organised by Goethe Institut, along with Marupakkam, the city-based cinema collective, the festival lasting five days will offer an interesting line-up for film aficionados.

Curated by Amudhan RP, the festival director as well as the founder of Marupakkam (established in 1996), the festival will screen around 35 documentaries and 15 short films from across India and countries like Germany, Spain, Russia, Israel, China, and Italy.

“We have chosen contemporary films that are made over the past two years. Since I curate many film festivals, I collect the films sent to me by all the filmmakers. From that collection, I have chosen the list of films for the festival. The criteria was to pick films that represent different styles of filmmaking, discuss politics and issues across the world and deal with topics such as refugees, workers, environment etc,” says Amudhan, who is also a documentary filmmaker, and curates the Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Social Justice film festival, among others.

Apart from screening films in separate categories such as Indian Films, International Films, Contemporary German Films and Films from Tamil Nadu, there will also be sections such as A Retrospective of Werner Herzog (the internationally acclaimed filmmaker from Germany) by screening his movies such as The Land of Silence and Darkness (1971), Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997), God’s Angry Man (1980) and A Retrospective of Reena Mohan (award-winning filmmaker/editor from Delhi) with her films Kamlabai (1991), Tales from Planet Kolkata (1993), Skin Deep (1998), among others. The segment called Filmmaker in Focus will showcase award-winning filmmaker from Kolkata, Supriyo Sen by featuring his films such as Way Back Home (2003), Hope Dies Last in War (2007), Wagah (2009), among others.

In another package titled 9 Pen Cinemackal, nine short films by women filmmakers from Kerala will be curated and presented by Kochi-based actor-filmmaker Archana Padmini. While Trivandrum-based critic and filmmaker CS Venkiteswaran will present films created by Artists, Mumbai-based curator Amit Gangar in a special segment called Gandhi, Gandhiness and Cinema Vimarshaa will discuss Gandhi (observing his 150th birth anniversary) and the films that are being made around him.

“These curated packages are an advantage to the festival. The curator has done the homework, put in his time, effort, experience and sensibilities to create it. For instance, the films by women will have its own space in the field as it will bring forth their unique sensibilities and experiences on screen,” shares Amudhan.

Further talking about the scope of Artists’ cinema, he says, “These artists are essentially painters and designers. They have their own way of filmmaking and therefore the experience their films give will be very different from that of conventional films. When these films are screened next to the documentaries made by professional filmmakers, one will recognise how different the experiences are and as a result, their idea of cinema itself will be questioned.”

As part of the festival, a masterclass on documentary editing will be conducted by Reena Mohan.

Source: The New Indian Express


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