The Chennai International Short Film Festival kicked off on Sunday evening with Velaikkaran director Mohan Raja, pageant winner Mira Mithun, 2D Entertainment’s Rajsekar Pandian, Regional Officer of the Censor Board Leela Meenakshi, and several others in attendance.
Addressing aspiring filmmakers at the event, Mohan Raja emphasised the need to make use of film festivals to network and showcase their works. “When I was in the film institute, in 1999, I had made a short film and that began a fire within me to take up this profession. I have mostly remade films, but with my own touch. Just imagine if you manage to make something so original, something that is totally you. I have always noticed that the most focused and passionate crowds are usually found at the short film festivals,” he said.
The event ended with the screening of three short films – Citipati from Germany (10 minutes duration), Fireflies and Kaali from India (both with a duration of six minutes). The festival aims to show a variety of short films, comprising short documentaries, animated and short fictional stories from over 16 countries.
Citipati is an animated film directed by Andreas Feix. ‘Citipati’ is a genus of the oviraptorid theropod dinosaur. The short film focuses on one particular citipati trying to survive when asteroids start bombarding the earth. Towards the end, tired of constantly running away from the fire, the citipati willingly goes towards the burning asteroid and emerges a phoenix in flames.
Fireflies, directed by Johnson Rajkumar, is based on Meira Paibi, a women’s social movement in Manipur that protests the treatment of their menfolk by the military, by carrying flaming torches and marching the streets at night. The documentary also features women speaking out about the fear that prevails in the state because of heavy military presence in the area.
Kaali, a Tamil short film directed by Nathaniel Antony, is a suspense drama about a retired inspector narrating his experience of taking down a drug mafia in the 80s. Belonging to the noir genre, the short film explores the topic of deception.
The short film festival will be on till February 24, with more than 120 short films scheduled to be screened at the Russian Culture Centre in Alwarpet. Visit www.cisﬀ.in for more information.