Ashim Ahluwalia, the director of award-winning, MISS LOVELY 20-minutes short film EVENTS IN A CLOUD CHAMBER will have its World Premiere at the 73rd Venice Film Festival in the section, Venice Classic. The festival takes place in Venice from 31st August to 10th September 2016.
PICTURE COURTESY: Jhaveri Contemporary Gallery
In 1969, the Padma Bhushan recipient, Akbar Padamsee, one of the pioneers in Modern Indian painting along with Raza, Souza and M.F. Hussain, made a visionary 16mm film called, EVENTS IN A CLOUD CHAMBER. This was one of the only Indian experimental films ever made back in 1969, the print is now lost and no copies exist.
Over 40 years later, filmmaker Ashim Ahluwalia worked with Padamsee, now 89 years old, to remake the film.
The 20-minute-short is produced by Ahluwalia's film company, Future East, in association with the art gallery, Jhaveri Contemporary, where the film will be screened in November, 2016.
Ashim Ahluwalia says, “When I met Akbar Padamsee, he was 87 years old. I knew he was one of the pioneers of Indian modernist painting but I had no idea that he had made two forgotten experimental films.”
Talking about how the collaboration happened, Ashim reveals, “Akbar was really keen to collaborate on something cinematic because he knew I was interested in that sort of thing. I really wasn't sure what we could do together until he just happened to tell me about this second film - EVENTS IN A CLOUD CHAMBER.'
“After just a handful of screenings, this film was shipped to an art expo in Delhi in the 70s where it was misplaced. There was no negative and the film is now long lost. This could have been the start of an entirely different kind of cinema in India but I suppose that was never meant to be” he laments.
Talking about the exciting process of bringing a lost film back to life after half a century, he adds, “I wanted him to try and remember this film so that we could both attempt to make it again. He couldn't completely remember how exactly the film was made, and that was what made the process so fascinating and collaborative for me.”
“I find this stuff more inspiring, more future-looking than anything going on today in the art or film world. It's like ghost stories - so many missing links, mysterious artworks, lost films. But I'm not trying to be nostalgic, just trying to look to the past to find inspiration because there were so many directions started and never finished,“ he signs off.