Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cannes - My Experience Part 3/5

Short Film Corner - My Subplot

Most of these sweet little nothings like us, who call themselves independent filmmakers (though without a strong track record) are found at the Short Film Corner - A place bubbling with energy and a place full of talented people who have just started. People who have made a few short films and want to make feature length stuff in future. Most of these people are open for collaboration, and because they are not yet maligned by the big bad world, they care for the art. It is here that we draw our personal subplots.


After collecting our badges and bags (good thing to showoff), first place we visit the next day is the Short Film Corner.


(A picture taken by Sopan at the apartment)


We see there is a space to meet buyers. There are a few stalls of companies like Adami, Mubi, Creative Mind etc. who survive through talent search. There is a digital film library , which hosts about 40 odd computer station, equipped with all the films that have entered the short film corner as well as the ones in competition and critics week. Over next few days, you might end up spending many hours watching these films made by your newly made friends. Then there is a small workshop room and a counter for free coffee which serves free wine and beer during the densely crowded happy hour (evening 5-6). There were 3 mini theatres with seating capacity of average 10 people. Here you can book screening of your film once. I booked it for 5:40 on the first Monday, expecting a lot of people to be around for the free booze and I wasn’t disappointed. The place was the most happening place for us, I felt that we belong here.


There was a great workshop on Pitching that I attended on the third day at Cannes. There were 20 different people from 20 different nationalities and we opened up to each other in the pitching exercise. Everyone was asked to pitch a full length feature script. I pitched my film “Nomen” for the film. The trainer gave us feedback on our body language, structure of pitching, and minor details. Funny thing was in a strong contrast to how women are being suppressed in many parts of the world like India, the story that I narrated in my pitching, the next story was from Iceland and it was based on a Rainbow Party. What the hell is a rainbow party? The girl from Iceland explained it in quite a graphic detail to us. There wasn’t anyone else from the subcontinent to feel the jolts of cultural tectonic shifts though. I met some very good filmmakers in that workshop whom I would like to be in touch with. A senior Norwegian theatre actress and a Cuban Filmmaker were especially interested in my film. There was a guy from Chile, who talked about his industry and a girl from Turkey who discussed her film. It was all good fun. After the workshop, I met a few interesting Pakistani filmmakers as well.

There were interactions with festival directors, VP of Vimeo on digital distribution, Abbas Kiarostami etc. planned by the short film corner. There was one more workshop on Short Film Sales and a breakfast arranged with Festivals, buyers and distributors which weren’t so fruitful for me. Though I learned a lot from it and met many new people. There were about 30 films from India, and about 20 filmmakers were present to attend the festival. Met some of the most talented and interesting folks.


(A small gathering after one of the short films screening)


I watched many film screenings here as well. The length and breadth of the subjects and genres were truly awesome. Stories were interesting. Sample a few: a middle east based filmmaker’s story of a man kept in solitary confinement starts talking to an Ant ; A Bengali film about a young man’s fascination and coming of age with a backdrop of nude photography; A Mexican animated film about a hare; a Srilankan film about gem-mining; a Canadian documentary on esports; A Norwegian adaptation of Henri Ibsen’s play; a Turkish drama on holidays; a Pakistani documentary on kabootar fights; A Czech -Indian film based on a concept that dreams are written and worked on by a person, while we are asleep; An American comedy based in Switzerland, about failed personalities …. It was a wonderful world.



Screening of my film was the most exciting moment for me though. The response I got from the audience was exactly of the type I would have wished for. None of the 12-15 folks sitting there were Indians or knew Hindi. The Norwegian and Cuban Filmmaker I talked about made it to the screening along with one of her friends from US who has been teaching art for about 20 years. There were a few Mexican filmmakers and a couple of Srilankan Filmmakers. Post the end credits, when I turned on the lights there was a moment of silence, no one being able to articulate what they were feeling. I loved that moment. The Norwegian actress was the first one to speak, and I loved her comment, “For the first time, I was suffering known emotions along with a character and that character wasn’t a female.” The lady from US was equally vocal about how she liked the film. The Cuban guy was interested about the reference to mythology in my film. The Sri Lankans were a little slow to respond, which I later learned was because English was not the best language for them to articulate their thoughts. The Srilankan editor came to me and said that he would like to work with me if I plan to make a feature out of it. I cannot say how thankful and glad I am to him for saying that. It gave me a confidence that I hardly had. The Norwegian actress later made me meet one of her dancer friends from India, who also happened to be my school senior (small world it seems). Networking at Cannes work that ways, I learned. For people like us, Cannes it seems is all about creating a network


No comments:

AddMe - Search Engine Optimization