Short film genre comes of age: short films screened at Osians'

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New Delhi, Jul 17 (UNI) Makers of short films never had it so good! After a series of film festivals in recent years in Delhi and other parts of the country screening short films, a section solely devoted to the film from the genre has been included as part of the ongoing tenth edition of the Osians' Cinefan festival of Asian and Arab cinema.

A total of 43 short fiction films from India, Pakistan, Germany, Egypt, Korea and other Asian and Arab countries are being screened at a section called 'Short Cuts'.

Speaking at a press conference here, several short fiction filmmakers including Karam Chawla ('The Love Song of'), Atul Sabharwal ('Midnight Lost and Found'), Pierre Friquet ('Snoozers'), Spandan Banerjee ('The Fiction') and Gautam Baruah ('Goodbye My Dear') said they were hopeful about the future of short films in India, but were still concerned about their commercial viability and outlet as far as their reach to the masses was concerned.

Vasanth Nath, whose film 'Sukrit's Sundays' is being screened at the ongoing festival, lamented that the short films, while becoming increasingly popular in India, still had a limited reach in the country.

''The number of people who have access to short films is small.

Asian and Arab Cinema and audiences still focus on commercial films, while short films are still trying to find not just an audience but also the financial resources for making new films,''Nath said.

In this context, many of these filmmakers expressed gratitude to the organizers of the Festival, noting that it was not often that short fiction filmmakers got the chance to make their debut on a platform like this.

Short film festivals have been popular in many countries, some even getting support from the Government, but this was the first time that a private Indian Film Festival had given a platform of this kind to filmmakers making short films. Some of these filmmakers are still students at various film making schools like the Film and Television Institute of India, the Satyajit Ray FTII, and others.

For many of the short filmmakers present at the press meet, making short films was a learning experience in that it was for them a stepping stone towards making a full feature film.

''For a new film maker, directing a short film is a learning experience, a stepping stone to how making a full feature film would be,''said Sharji Anwar Baloch, Director of Pakistani film 'The Will Of Gurmukh Singh'.

Infact, some of the filmmakers agreed that short films were made initially in the hope that they would bring in bigger opportunities.

At the same time, many others felt short films could hold their own and opened great avenues as regards creativity was concerned.

In this context, filmmaker Vasanth Nath said,''Internet, because of its social networking features like video sharing and blogging, allows you to share the films with the small yet interested audience.'' Ehtashamubdin Mohammad of Pakistan drew an interesting comparison in reply to a question.

''As a story teller, you can tell a story in just a couple of pages. But then the emotions and stories that a sher (couplet) can beautifully describe is unmatchable,''he said.

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