This month, amateur filmmakers can hope for more than just a few YouTube clicks. A new short-film contest hopes to encourage the cinematically inclined to shoot movies and help them get maximum eyeballs by showcasing their work on prime time television.
Organised by UTV World Movies, the idea behind the contest is to provide a platform to budding talent in India. “It’s a great way to bring to light the immense talent that this country has,” says internationally acclaimed screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala, famous for movies like The Namesake and the Oscar-nominated, Salaam Bombay. Taraporevala along with No One Killed Jessica director Raj Kumar Gupta and Paresh Mokashi, director of Harishchandrachi Factory, will play jury for the contest, where the underlining is ‘first time ever’. “What I like about it is that the theme is very open-ended,” says Taraporevala, adding “There are no limits and one can conjure up images of just about any thing, but the challenge is to pack it all within 10 minutes.”
Entries for the contest will be accepted till March 15, wherein filmmakers can participate by shooting and then uploading their work via a YouTube link through the channel’s website. The troika of critics, on their part, will screen the entries before short-listing the best three, which will be aired on the small screen. And it doesn’t end here. The winners will also get to work with Paresh Mokashi on his upcoming project.
Ask them what the selection process will be like and Taraporevala answers, “Personally, I would be looking forward to originality in the works we receive. With a theme like this, I would expect just about anyone driven towards filmmaking to come up with a project. People from all walks, professionals with cameras or amateurs shooting with phones cameras—are all welcome.” For her counterpart, Gupta, it is the unexpected that will work the best. “I want to see films that surprise me,” he says. Playing jury for the first time, ask Gupta what he would have captured on 70mm for the contest and he promptly replies, “It would be about judging, since like the theme, it’s really the first time ever that I’m doing this.”
Send in your entries to UTV World Movies’ Premier- The Short Film Competition on the theme ‘First Time Ever’ via their website, www.utvworldmovies.com. Contest open till March 15