With smart mobile phones and digital cameras enabling the younger generation to make short films without much investment in money or time, the number of short Indian films made has increased and now there is a contest to reward the best short films made by film enthusiasts in the UAE.
A short film festival and contest for the best short films shot by Indian expatriate film enthusiasts is being organised by the screen unit of Prerana UAE, a socio-cultural association of Indian expatriates.
The Prerana Short Film Festival 2012 (PFSFC 2012) and contest for the John Abraham Film Awards will be held at the Indian Association Hall Sharjah at 5pm on Friday 29 June where several short films shot by the UAE based film enthusiasts will be screened.
John Abraham was a South Indian film director known for his unconventional lifestyle and way of thinking and attained legendary status due to his nomadic lifestyle. He made movies in Tamil and Malayalam and four of his movies opened a new chapter in the non-commercial film movement.
Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Vipin Vijay, a young film maker and jury chairman for the short film awards, said recent advances in digital technology has created more interest in making short movies and unlike feature films that last for 90 minutes to 120 minutes, making short films is relatively easy, but making money from such ventures is a major challenge facing film enthusiasts.
“We have received about 32 short films in different Indian languages made by film makers in the UAE. There are many feature film producers and artists in the UAE and the number of film enthusiasts interested in making short films is large. They currently don’t have a platform or distribution network. Prerana is organising the short film festival every year to provide them that platform,” he said.
S M Farooq, film critic and writer, and Leena Koshy, journalist and critic, are other jury members.
‘Chithrasuthram’, the debut feature film by Vijay, has attracted serious debate and reviews. His other notable films include ‘Tatwamasi’, ‘The Egotic World’, ‘Video Game’, ‘A Flowering Tree’ etc.
“Short films are a profound and important art form and Prerana has been screening remarkable films, organising film festivals and discussions over the last ten years. This initiative is to identify and encourage young short film makers from the UAE. All the 32 entries for the short film contest are made by Indian expatriate film makers and we expect more short film makers to participate in the contest in the coming months,” said Anoop Chandran, general secretary of Prerana UAE.
Chandra Balu, programme convener of the short film festival, said: “We will be screening all the 11 short listed films after announcing the John Abraham Short Film Awards.”
Prerana UAE is also planning to organise an annual series of John Abraham film lectures in the UAE.