International Short Film Festival of India 2013

ISFFI, Season 7 was back again, hitting the screens on 9th & 10th March unrolling a vibrant and splendid display of 54 short films from across the globe. The festival was held at Abirami Theatre, Purusaiwakkam, Chennai under the patronage of DBICA and Abirami Theatres Pvt. Ltd.

This most awaited short film festival, featuring the best of world’s short film cinema, was the outcome of the short listing from the 624 entries which streamed in from 33 countries. The background of the film makers was a mix of professionals, amateur film makers, students and individuals.

After an hectic speculation by the jury panel, under the leadership of Shri B. Lenin, – Editor & Film Maker, Dr. Uma Vangal – Head Media & Entertainment (LV Prasad Film & TV Academy), Mr. R.R. Srinivasan – Film Maker, Ms. Shakila – Film Maker, Ms. Megha B Lakhani – Film Maker, Mr. Vinoth Rajesh-Production Asst-EMRC Anna University, the 54 films were short listed for this two day festival.

Of the 54 short films screened for the festival, 16 were from the different states of India – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, while the other 38 are from countries like Germany, Iran, Italy, Poland, Spain, Uzbekistan, UK, New Zealand, Czech Republic and USA.

The celebrities and guests of honour who participated in this festival were Mr. Abirami Ramanathan, Managing Director – Abirami Mega Mall, Dr. S. Gauri -Director – EMRC, Anna University, Director & Editor Bhimsingh Lenin, Filmmakers Prabhu Solomon, SS Stanley, Ram, GNR Kumaravelan, Ravi Maria, RR Srinivasan, Dialogue Write A. Venkatesan, Cinematographer Balasubramiem, Mr. Gaspar, Managing Director of Sarcar Foundations and Film Producer TG Thyagarajan.

ISFFI awards were declared under four divisions – the International, International Category Awards, National, and National Category Awards respectively. Under the International Category, the Spanish short film ‘Abstenerse Agencias’ (Private Sale) by Gaizka URRESTI bagged the first place, while the short film from Uzbekistan ‘Sandiq’ (A Chest) by Sabina Sagadeeva, and the Spanish short film ‘La Boda (The Wedding’) by Marina Seresesky, were awarded the second and third place respectively.

Under the National category, the first place was awarded to ‘Rizwan’ by Deepti Khurana from Pune with a cash award of Rs. 25000/-. The second place was awarded to the short film June by Viplab Majumder from West Bengal with a cash award of 15000/- and the third place was awarded to short film ‘Melawa‘ (The Festival of Marriages) by Junaid Imam from Mumbai with a cash award of Rs. 10000/-. Under the Category awards, the best foreign short animated film was awared to ‘Beerbug’ by Ander Mendia, from Spain. The best creative concept foreign movie award was given for the animation short ‘Working Day’ by Reanud Maire, from New Zealand and the audience choice award was given to the short film ‘Love at First Sight’ by Mark Playne, from United Kingdom.

Among the Indian entries, the best short animated film was given to ‘Fulwanti & Slim-c’ by Vaibhav Piwlatkar, the best male actor award was given to Mr. Gnani for his acting in ‘Nodi’ while the Audience Choice Award went once again to the short film ‘Nodi’ by Bhavanna Y V.

The enthusiastic interaction which prevailed over the ambience in the presence of the film makers was very revealing, highlighting the journey and raison d’etre of the short films created. “I started making my entry into ISFFI in 2008 and each time my entry gets shortlisted and is screened for the festival, I know I am on the right path, and my decision to become a filmmaker gets confirmed” says Ronal Malik of Bombay, who has been part of ISFFI every year. “I am thrilled at this theatre experience and impressed at the quality of films that have come for ISFFI 2013” said Mark Playne the film maker who came from London to participate in the festival.

Sarcar Foundations, Chennai had been a strong force in patronizing ISFFI 2013. The collaboration and support of other International Film Festival Groups like Missioni Don Bosco and AP logistics Italy, Aug&Ohr Medien-Berlin, KIMUAK-Spain, Elenfant Film-Italy, Freak-Spain, OFFecam, Ecam, en Corto-Spain, Mailuki Films-Spain, The Other Side of Films-Spain and The House of Films, Spain has made the growth of ISFFI very significant. The other Academic collaborators of the festival – Don Bosco College of Art and Design, L.V. Prasad Film and TV Academy, Chennai, Department of Visual Communication of Madras Christian College, and Ethiraj College for women brought in youthful vigour and dynamism to the festival. It was definitely a youth film fest as great numbers from all city colleges turned up the festival.