The short film extravaganza at EGA cinemas had a glorious start on the 25th of February 2011 with several dignitaries declaring open the fifth international short film festival of India. The inaugural ceremony included Mr. Elangovan, Joint Director, Department of Information, Actor Parthiban, Film Directors Agathiyan, Kathir, Praveenkanth, SS. Stanley, Abhishek, Raviraj, Rev. Fr. Mark Vellanganny, Italian delegates Aldo Villabruna and Ugo dalla Longa.
The inaugural ceremony began video Peace Please, followed by the lighting of the Kuthuvilakku by the dignitaries. In his words of welcome, the festival director brought into limelight the journey of ISFFI in the past five years, and how it was satisfying to see entries from 42 countries this year. He also highlighted the objectives of the festival and spelt out the rationale behind the initiatives of DBICA through its film festivals.
Mr. Elangovan, Joint Director of the Department of Information and Public Relations in his message, affirmed of the support of the government for the cause of the short film makers and expressed his appreciation of the efforts of DBICA. Mr. Parthiban, in a very familiar and humorous way cheered the crowd by telling them the various qualities of short films and how they could communicate powerfully compared to feature films. He also motivated the students to fight against social evils and injustices and become agents of social change. Director Agathiyan, applauded the efforts of the short film makers and reiterated that every spark of creativity intertwined with hard work and preparation can lead to greater heights for all those dreaming to enter into the feature film making. Director Stanley, appreciated the efforts of ISFFI, for providing an arena for short film makers to showcase their films, make it known to the public and give due recognition to them.
After the vote of thanks proposed by AC Alathi, the chief organizer of ISFFI, the solemn kick start followed with all dignitaries declaring open ISFFI 2011 with the official promo. The first day of the festival will feature 32 shorts from various countries such as Spain, Canada, Hongkong, Australia, USA, Brazil, Thailand, UK and India, with a variety of themes of day to day life experiences.
Number of short film makers from Bombay, Delhi, Kolkata, Kerala, Shillong, Pune and Srilanka have come to take part in the festival. EGA theatre remains alive and kicking with a very good participation of students from various visual communication departments and media institutes from Chennai.
The Fifth International Short Film Festival of India came to a fitting finale with the Award Ceremony on the 26th Feb 2011. The second day of screening featured 28 short films from various countries such as Srilanka, India, Romania, UK, Spain, Bulgaria, Luxemborg, Chile, South Africa and Thailand. The two day short film extravaganza was no doubt a feast to all film lovers to get a glimpse of the best of the fest.
The splendid array of dignitaries, who crowned the award ceremony of ISFFI 2011 were Dr. Natchimuthu, Private Secretary to the Honourable Minister for Information and Urban Development, Director R.K. Selvamani, Director Vettrimaran, Director Bhimsingh Lenin, Director Suresh Menon, Cinematographers RD Rajasekaran and Santtanio, the Italian delegate Ugo dalla Longa, and Script Writer Ajayan Bala.
The ISFFI director, Fr. Harris cheered the dignitaries and the film makers through his words of welcome, after which the chief guests were ceremoniously felicitated. The short film pioneer and guru Mr. Bhimsingh Lenin who headed the ISFFI jury, spoke on the experiences and impressions that he had on watching and judging the shorts. He appreciated the efforts of the short film makers who boldly attempted with their creations and augured that short films would have a good future with such prestigious platforms like ISFFI.
The Chief Guest Dr. Natchimuthu while congratulating all the film makers and ISFFI affirmed that this short film festival would soon become the icon of Chennai. He elaborated on the efforts of the Government to encourage and promote those in media, specially the short film makers and invited the short film makers to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that were before them with creativity, professionalism and determination.
The veteran director and the secretary of the Tamil Nadu Directors Association Mr. R.K. Selvamani who was present for the first and fourth International Short Film Festival of India, expressed his joy to be part of ISFFI and applauded the efforts of the organizers, stating that it was purely to promote short film makers and short films and that he assured that all the help from the directors association would be there for ISFFI 2012.
With his simple and inimitable style director Vettrimaran charged the audience with enthusiasm, exhorting them to come out with greater creativity and strength in all their works.
Cinematograapher RD Rajasekaharan expressed his joy for having sat for the second day of screening and viewed all the shorts and that it took him back to his days, when he had to make a short film to finish his diploma. Every effort, struggle and toil of the film makers needs to be appreciated he said.
Cinematographer Santtanio in his message encouraged the audience stating that his short film, paved the way for his making the feature film as the camera man. Expose your works to the best and opportunities will knock at your door, was the message he left to the audience.
The Italian delegate, Mr. Ugo dalla Longa, expressed his joy in having participated in the two day festival and viewed a good number of shorts. He congratulated the film makers and wished the best for their media career.
The crowning moment of festival was the declaration of the ISFFI awards by the ISFFI Organizer AC Alathi. All the participants were awarded with a certificate by the dignitaries. Among the awards on the international category, Pizza Miracle by Tony Grisoni from the United Kingdom got the first place, while Vive La Crise by Alexei Gubenco from Romania and Artalde by Asier Altuna fom Spain bagged the second and third place respectively.
Among the national entries, the first place was awarded Smile by Koushik Borbora from Pune, while the short film Rekmaya Jaga by Deepak and Bhushan from Maharastra and the short film Aval by Prasanth Kanathur from Tamil Nadu won the second and third place respectively.
Among the Special awards, the best Animation short film under the international category was given to Daisy Cutter by Enrique Garcia and Rubien Salazar from Spain. Under the national category, the best animation film was awarded to Tiranga by Chiranjit from Karnataka. The short film Applied by Nithin Menon from Kerala garnered the Audience Choice Award, while the ISFFI special screening award was given to Vinoo Choliparambil for his Vitthal, which has already bagged some national awards.
ISFFI 2011, no doubt remains unique because of the direct collaboration it receives from the Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Tamil Nadu and the partnership it receives from various global festival groups such as Madrid en corto from Spain, Edinburg College of Arts from England, Encounters Film Festival from UK, Kimauk Film Festival from Seoul, who contributed to the success of the festival. The support of 92.7 BIG FM as the official radio partner also paved way to the success of the festival. ISFFI 2011 in its 5th edition, has offered a unique glimpse into the most recent short-film productions from across the globe for young directors and budding film makers of the country. The two day festival was indeed a memorable to the Chennaite film lovers.