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Love film and videos? See what’s making waves at a weekend festival

Watch films made in 50 hours, see classic posters re-imagined, learn from top filmmakers and directors at the India Film Project

mumbai Updated: Sep 30, 2017 08:59 IST
Riddhi Doshi
Riddhi Doshi
Hindustan Times
Filmmaking,India Film Project,50 hour film project
At the India Film Project, filmmakers from around the world create films in 50 hours for a chance to showcase it to industry experts and audiences.(iStock)
India Film Project
  • WHERE: Nehru Centre, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli
  • WHEN: September 30 to October 1, 10 am to 8 pm
  • CONTACT: for tickets and the full schedule

While Karan Johar and Kangna Ranaut fight it out over nepotism in cinema, 28-year-old business management professional Ritam Bhatnagar is quietly creating a global platform for young filmmakers, one competition at a time.

The seventh edition of the India Film project invites filmmakers to create a film in 50 hours and showcases the best ones to viewers and industry experts.

This year, 29,000 participants, from 17 countries, including the USA, UK, China, Australia, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Turkey and Germany, made 1,503 films on the theme ‘It’s all connected’. See who made the cut this weekend as film directors Ram Madhwani and Aniruddh Roy Chowdhury and producer, director Vipul Shah pick the winners.

Bhatnagar is no filmmaker but in his first job at a film society in Mumbai, he interacted with lots of young filmmakers. “I was amazed at their spirit of never giving up and the amount of heart and soul they put in making a film,” says Bhatnagar. “Even if their work was not seen, liked or appreciated by others, they still held their creation close to their heart.”

It saddened Bhatnagar that there wasn’t any platform for young filmmakers. “Film festivals show you movies from across the globe, but none that promotes filmmaking.”

In 2007, Bhatnagar announced the 50-hour filmmaking competition as a one-off event in Ahmedabad so filmmakers could network and see each other’s works. He received 600 entries. “I never planned to make it an annual affair. But, soon after the first event ended, people started asking about the second and I realised how important this platform is.”

At last year’s edition, their first in Mumbai, 11,000 people walked in. This year, the winning films will be screened at Nehru Centre. There will be discussions on writing for a film, crowdfunding, making digital videos, publicity on digital platforms and acting. Prizes will be awarded to short films, videos, web series and brand films across several categories.

In addition to screenings, the India Film Project will feature discussions on making digital videos.

An entry from Assam had only 400 views on its short film on YouTube, but it’s among the 10 from the 5,500 entries received. “This is the impact of the project, it gives its due to filmmakers across the nation and not creators in Mumbai and Chennai,” says Bhatnagar.

“All we filmmakers seek a platform to show our work,” says Denston Lewis, 28, a Mumbai-based filmmaker and a participant of the 50-hour film competition. “What could be better than to be judged by industry experts and get a chance to screen your film to a big audience?”

Jury member Madhwani says the event is a great opportunity for the young, particularly since “the web is being driven by so much content in every genre now”.

First Published: Sep 29, 2017 19:26 IST