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Four micro movies from Ahmedabad for German festival

By Sukrat Desai, IANS

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A dwarf's shadow growing to a giant, illusion emerging into reality, a camera with character and a travel through time.

These are the themes of four movies by filmmakers from Ahmedabad nominated for the microfilm festival being organised by Siemens Mobile and Interfilm Berlin to be held from Nov 2-7.

Incidentally, from India only filmmakers from Ahmedabad figure on the list of 20 nominated for the international microfilm festival in Berlin.

The other films are from Britain, Canada, Norway, Columbia, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico and Finland.

The festival will be held at the Filmkunsthans Bayblon and Hackesche Hofe Flimtheatre in Berlin.

The filmmakers from here are naturally excited over the prize, since the lucky winner will walk away with Euro 3,000 ($3,700), apart from a mobile phone with camera, when the results are announced Nov 7.

But for these filmmakers, their films -- "Chhaaya", "Exist Exit", "Say Cheese" and "Time - The Fourth Dimension" -- caught within 90 seconds on Siemens videophone getting nominated for the international film award itself was a great experience.

"It's like a dream come true. My day-long toil in the dusty labyrinthine lanes of Jamalpur slum finally paid off," said Aditya Vikram Sengupta, a student of the National Institute of Design (NID).

Aditya's "Chhaaya" shows the tragic reality of a dwarf who, while watching his shadow, imagines himself growing into a giant.

Looking for a dwarf actor, Aditya had gone to the Jamalpur neighbourhood in eastern Ahmedabad where he met Azgar Ali, a three-foot dwarf.

"When I told Azgar that he was to act in a film, he quoted his prize like a star. But when I told him that I was just a student he got ready to work for Rs.200," Aditya told IANS.

But "Exist Exit" relied more on symbols and fast-paced editing than characters. According to maker Janantik Shukla, his film is about existence's cravings for illusion that eventually merges into reality.

Janantik, a communication graduate from the M.S. University in Vadodara had conceptualised "Exist Exit" with his associate Vinod. They had together formed an amateur film production group, Dekh, six months ago.

"We exist because we live in an illusive reality and often try to exit from it," said Vinod, who has done post graduation in literature from St. Xavier's College, Ahmedabad.

The two are currently researching for a documentary that they want to make on tribal culture.

"I've captured moving images from inside an elevator and used skyscrapers and beach as the backdrop of my movie," said Janantik.

"Say Cheese" is about a girl who tries her best to fit into the camera to get the perfect image, but to no avail.

"Here, I've tried to establish camera, which has its own individuality, as the chief character of the film, own existence. The girl eventually gets frustrated and breaks up the camera," said Nupur Bhargav, its maker.

For Abhishek, Vishal and Sanjay, fourth-year B.Tech. students at the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology here, who made "Time-The Fourth Dimension", its production turned out to be a turning point in their lives.

The microfilm, which depicts the dark side of time travel, was their first experience in movie making. "And it was so hilarious that we all decided to make it our full-time occupation," said Vishal.

The film depicts the dark side of time travel. Sanjay, who conceptualised the theme, said: "We've tried to show how things could go awry if it were possible to travel back and forth in time."


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