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Phoney films

German filmmaker specialises and trains students on making meaningful short films using mobile phones, films to be screened today.

bollywood Updated: Apr 11, 2011 15:12 IST
Nirmika Singh

You may have thought that the video recording feature in your mobile phone was, at best, a tool to record crazy party moments and scenic sights. But not Till Passow, a German filmmaker who specialises in mobile phone filmmaking. Passow has been training a group of students about the art and science of using mobile phones like the Nokia N90 or N95 for making meaningful short films.

Ask him how difficult it is to make a film on a mobile phone, considering it has limited features and he says, “It is challenging because we need to stand close to the subject we are shooting, since we cannot always use the zoom as the picture tends to get pixellated. The same applies for capturing sound,” says Passow.

In 2005, the filmmaker won the Oberhausen Mobile Phone Film competition. Since then, he has been conducting workshops across several countries, including Mexico, Pakistan and India. The films made during the ongoing workshop conducted by Passow at Max Mueller Bhavan had to adhere to the given topic of ‘urban/surviving strategies in a mega-city’. Passow tells that his motley group of seven students, comprising architects, journalists and aspiring filmmakers, is working on some interesting individual projects that weave in the diverse city experiences of the students.

Variety of subjects
“One of my students is making a film on a person who is trying hard to stop people from peeing on the wall outside his house. Another film looks at the life of a rat-killer at work in the night. There is also one that depicts people’s angst against the municipal corporation,” he mentions.

In the workshops, the students went through an interactive round of scripting before they finally started filming. “The discussions threw open many perspectives, which helped us in the filming process. Also, we realised that even though a mobile may not be a professional device for making films, it opens a lot of chances in exploring diversity,” Passow says.

The films will be screened today from 10.30 am to 5.00 pm at Max Mueller Bhavan, Kala Ghoda.