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Lights, camera, action: Meet the filmy keedas of Delhi University

The film societies of various colleges of Delhi University (DU) promote and encourage the art of filmmaking and the study of its different aspects. Here’s telling you about the prominent ones.

education Updated: Jul 08, 2016 18:21 IST
Etti Bali
Etti Bali
Hindustan Times
(Clockwise) The film societies of Kirori Mal College,  Ramjas College, Gargi College and St Stephen’s College.
(Clockwise) The film societies of Kirori Mal College, Ramjas College, Gargi College and St Stephen’s College.

Do you think you have it in you to write an engaging script for an ad or film? Does the director in you itch to say the word, action? Delhi University’s various film societies are what you must enroll with to hone your cinematic skill.

Known to encourage and promote the art of filmmaking, and the study of its different aspects, these clubs ideate, direct, edit and present short films as well as advertisements, and send them across other university fests, even beyond Delhi. Drawing inspiration from art house and parallel cinema, they are working towards cultivating a whole new breed of filmmakers. We tell you about some of the societies.

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The Cine Club, St Stephen’s College

The film society of St Stephen’s College, The Cine Club, is one of the oldest societies of the college. It’s open for all those who wish to be a part of it and there are no auditions. Rohan Thomas, a member, says, “Our society is very interest-oriented, and students who are dedicated to cinema and its study become members.” The club usually holds 3-4 screenings a month, which are theme-based. “Every year, during the Oscars, we have an Oscars’ Week, where we screen the nominated films. Similarly, we organise a Halloween’s Week, where we show horror films,” says Thomas.

The members make, as well as screen films. Thomas adds, “The film, Kaafiron Ki Namaaz, was screened at our college.” The society invites film entries from various colleges for their annual fest, Visions. “The short film entries are judged by a panel, and winners are chosen. We also have movie quizzes, editing classes and screenings of indie films at our fest,” concludes Thomas.

The film society of St Stephen’s College is open to all students. (The Cine Club)

Montage, Kirori Mal College

Montage, the film society of Kirori Mal College (KMC), was formed in 2002 by the college’s Economics professor, Soumyajit Bhattacharya. Anil Yadav, president of Montage, says, “People do not know much about art house cinema, so it becomes important for societies like ours to make them aware of it.” The society holds one screening per week, which is followed by discussions about the film.

Students who wish to be part of the society need to fill out a registration form, after which they go through a group discussion round and then, the personal interview.

Read: For the love of dramatics: 7 top drama societies of Delhi University

The society organises an annual fest called Mise-en-Scene, which focuses on a different theme each year. The society also holds annual workshops where noted filmmakers discuss various aspects of filmmaking with the students. “Last year, we had (actor-filmmaker) Nagesh Kukunoor, and this year, (filmmaker) Agneya Singh (of M Cream fame) held a workshop,” adds Yadav.

The film society of Kirori Mal College puts up posters and artwork of various films during the screenings at their annual fest. (Montage)

Glass Eye, Gargi College

It started as a film appreciation and screening society, but since 2013, members have been making films and advertisements. In order to become a member, students need to go through three rounds of auditions. Pallavi Kumar, scriptwriter for the society, says, “In the first round, we ask for samples of the students’ work, such as portfolio and scripts. In the second round, they have to perform a task (either shoot a scene, or write a script) in 1-2 hours. Then finally, we have the interview round.”

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Most of the times, the society works out shoot sessions in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the classes, but in case it does, Pallavi says, “The teachers are understanding and when they know that we are making a film for a competition, they mark our attendance for the classes missed.”

Their annual fest, Prism, is organised in tandem with two other societies from the college, namely Hues (fine arts) and Iris (photography). Apart from a showcase of their films, the fest also has inter-college movie making competitions.

Members of Glass Eye during a film shoot. (Glass Eye)

Effulgence Film and Photography Society, Sri Venkateswara College

The society was formed in 2011 with aim of promoting visual arts. Members make films and also hold screenings for students from other universities at their annual fest, Exposure.

A still from Samir Zaidi’s short film, Cross.

Samir Zaidi, president of the society, says, “Every year, for our fest, we release 2-3 themes well in advance so that students from other colleges can submit their entries.” Their jury comprises of college faculty and independent filmmakers.

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Currently, the society has 16 members, and the recruitment process comprises of two stages. In the first round, a short film screening is held and the students are asked to interpret and analyse it. In the second round, the students are given a cinema-related theme, which they have to discuss with the panel of judges. “These rounds help us in understanding what aspect of filmmaking they are inclined towards,” informs Zaidi.

Focus, Ramjas College

The film and photography society of Ramjas College, Focus, helps promote visual communication among students. The 28-member society also focuses on teaching skills and workshops in the field of filmmaking. Amisha, president of the society, says, “It is important for the members to know the basics of filmmaking; the rest they learn during the course of the year.”

At their annual fests, they invite short film entries from various colleges and showcase them along with their own films. “We also have an ECA night every year where all the student films are shown,” adds Amisha.

Members of the film society of Ramjas College during the making of a film. (Focus)

In order to become a member of Focus, students need to go through three rounds of auditions. In the first round, students have to make a video on a theme chosen by the society members. For the second round, students are asked to submit their previous work such as short films and scripts. In the final round, i.e., the interview, students are marked on their filmmaking aptitude and knowledge. “The rules for selection in the film wing of the society are somewhat stringent, as filmmaking is not an easy task. We see if the students know the basics of the craft,” concludes Amisha.