Mon Amie Noire (MAN), a short film made by four students from St Xaviers College for an inter-collegiate competition in 2011 is all set for an international outing, at the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival in the USA later this month.
The name of the film translates to, A Dark Friend. It traces the life of an unnamed protagonist, who is molested by a man she trusts. The incident has a deep psychological effect on her and she decides to punish him in her own way.
The film was made with the intention of being screened only once for the competition, but the overwhelming response from the judges took the film to larger audiences. “Cyrus Dastur, one of the judges, picked it up for screening at the Shamiana Short Film Club. Since then, it has travelled to eight international film festivals in six countries across four continents,” says director Omar Iyer.
The first edit of MAN featured soundtracks from films like Inception (2010), 28 Days Later (2002), The Dark Knight (2008) and Oldboy (2003). “To ensure that the film is an original work, Achint Thakkar, songwriter and vocalist of Mumbai band Rosemary, composed a score that justified the emotion of the film,” adds Iyer.
Made on a shoe-string budget of Rs. 700, MAN was shot in just two nights. Its list of accolades includes the third prize at the International Film Festival, Chandigarh, and the Best Music award at a festival in Edinburgh. In Paris, the film was picked as an official selection and nominated for Best Short Film in the Non-European category.
“The film is a work of art and doesn’t make any sort of social statement. We made the film because of our love for cinema,” says Tanuja Viswanath, producer and actor, MAN.