Mumbai, Oct 28 (Calcutta Tube) From the autobiography of a plastic bottle to a day in the life of a blind Mumbaikar, movies with heartwarming themes made it to a new section for young filmmakers at the ongoing Mumbai Film Fest.
Dimensions Mumbai saw the screening of 24 films at the fest, which is on till Thursday. The filmmakers, less than 25 years of age, saw the city in a way that commercial cinema in the country has refused to see it – as one of dreams but also of broken aspirations, filth, squalour and shattered dreams.
Thus while a film called ‘Mera Ghar’ used a split screen to show the contrast between Mumbai life and rural life, another called ‘Mumbaikar Ganesh’ was the documentary on a slum kid with big aspirations. This film raised the maximum number of laughs.
Another, ‘Fattu and Gattu’, was a black and white Chaplinesque take on life in the city. ‘Paani’ had the filmmaker’s imagination run wild with a city where water would be the most precious commodity for which people would kill, die and get arrested. ‘Dahi Handi’ was the story of a courier boy in the city.
The mundane autobiography of a plastic bottle in ‘The Endless Life’ raised more than a chuckle amomng the audience, while another film with the same treatment ‘Bombay to Mumbai’, this time the story of a plastic bag, seemed pretentions and received a lukewarm response.
‘Mumbai Retina’ was a film with a black screen, a few texts below it and an apology in the end. It was, after all, a day in the life of a blind Mumbaikar. This film, despite its lack of images, evoked quite an uproarious applause from the audience in the end.
The films chosen under Dimensions Mumbai were a wide representation of life in Mumbai. And these films were shot on digital or handy cams or small digital cameras. Looking grainy on being blown up to the big screen, they may not be world cinema yet, but were an attempt to represent some of the best elements of cinema.
Social concerns, environmental issues, empathy for the blind, for those living an impoverished life dominated the scene in these short films, raising high hopes from these first-time filmmakers that they will continue their sensitivity.
However, like a rich kid in the film ‘The Other Side’, who after facing the reality of slum life returns to his comfortable life, it would be interesting to see how many of these kids return to the comfort of their established lives.
The ones who don’t will not only become great filmmakers someday, but will in their own way, change the face of the world we live in.