Posts Tagged ‘Dimensions Mumbai’

I first saw this short film by Chinmay Nagesh Dalvi at Mumbai Film Festival’s 2011 edition. It was in the “Dimension Mumbai” section, a competitive segment for U-25 filmmakers where films have to be about the city and duration should be less than 5 minutes.

I loved it, and thought that it will easily win the top spot. But Bombay Snow went on to receive the Special Jury mention. Later on it bagged the award for Best Short Fiction at International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala. Since then i have been recommending it to everyone looking for good shorts. But the film wasn’t online. So for all those who have been asking for the film, finally the short film is online. Enjoy.

The version that was submitted at MFF was slightly shorter than this one. It didn’t have the scene of the boy stopping near the park. Compared to other shorts in the segment, this was brilliant as it didn’t try to force the “Mumbai” factor in it. Also, it beautifully touches upon so many subjects without shouting or saying anything – displacement issue, rural versus urban, the equation between husband, wife and hooker, and that epic “bombay snow”.


Tip – Kuldip Patel

After seven days of cinema, conversations, chai-coffee and standing in long queues, it’s a wrap for this year’s Mumbai Film Festival. And since I had put an open bet on the Dimensions Mumbai shorts, it’s time to say, we told you so. Click here to read the post with short reviews of all the shorts selected for this year’s Dimensions Mumbai. Out of the four shorts that I had put a bet on, three made it to the jury’s list.

Dimensions Mumbai

The Silver Gateway Award and cash prize of Rs 100,000 for The Best Film was presented to Ameya Gore and Sunaina Mahadik for ‘Facelift’.

The Silver Gateway Award and cash prize of Rs 50,000 for The Second Best Film was presented to Abhay Kumar for ‘Life is a Beach‘.

The Jury Special Mention Award was given to Chinmaya Nagesh Dalvi for ‘Bombay Snow’ and to Harshvir Oberai for ‘The Circle Is Mine’.

International Competition

– The Golden Gateway Award and cash prize of US $ 100,000 for The Best Film was presented to French film ‘My Little Princess’ directed by Eva Ionesco.

– The Silver Gateway Award for Jury Grand Prize and cash prize of US $ 50,000 was presented to Canadian film ‘The Salesman’ (Le Vendeur) directed by Sebastien Pilote.

– The Silver Gateway Award for Best Director was presented to Eva Ionesco for the movie ‘My Little Princess’.

– The Silver Gateway Award for Best Actress was presented to Isabelle Huppert and Anamaria Vartolomei for their performance in the film ‘My Little Princess’.

– The Silver Gateway Award for Best Actor was presented to Gilbert Sicotte for his performance in ‘The Salesman’ (Le Vendeur).

– The Silver Gateway Jury Award for Technical Excellence was presented to Diego Poleri for ‘Las Acacias’.

– The Silver Gateway Special Jury Award was presented to Markus Schleinzer for ‘Michael’.

Mumbai Young Critics

– The Mumbai Young Critics Silver Gateway Award was presented to Markus Schleinzer for ‘Michael’.

Celebrate Age Category

– The Silver Gateway Award and cash prize of Rs 50,000 for The Best Film was presented to ‘Grandma, A Thousand Times’ (Teta, Alf Marra) directed by Mahmoud Kaabour.

– The Silver Gateway Award and cash prize of Rs 25,000 for the Second Best Film was given to ‘Fear of Falling’ directed by Bartosz Konopka.

– The Celebrate Age Jury Award Certificate of Special Mention was given to Zubin Sethna for ‘The Usual’ (Wie Immer).

And the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Gulzar.

Except some minor hiccups here and there, Mumbai Film Festival turned out to be great success this year. What makes a fest good? Films. And that’s where MFF scored. We can live without the stars and the celebrities. Hopefully next year will be bigger and better, and the queues will be smaller. Can we please get Chandan Theater as the big venue along with a multiplex as the main venue from next year. Team MFF, thanks a ton.

Mumbai Dimensions is a unique initiative to spot the young and the emerging talents in the city. And the rules are simple – 1. You have to be Under-25. 2. Duration can’t be more than 5mins. 3. The film should be about the city. The prizes include Silver Gateway trophies and cash prize of Rs. One Lakh and Rs. 50,000/- for the best two shorts. This year’s jury includes Kiran Rao, Vikramaditya Motwane, Nishikant Kamat, Onir and Renuka Shahane.

Shorts are always challenging. And when there is a restriction on duration and subject, it’s bound to get tougher. Surprisingly there was a long queue for the shorts too. But thanks to some last minute smartness, some of us managed to get in at the right time. This year there are 20 films in this section. I have a film theory called U-25 which i generally use to dismiss the views of kids ( read U-25) when we are discussing cinema. Well, it’s a joke, but after watching all the 20 films, i think there is some truth in my U-25 theory. The simple logic is if you haven’t seen/lived/experienced life enough, you can’t make a good film. And 25 is just too little to do that. Of course age is just a number, and a theory is a theory. But why are we making such terrible films and telling bad stories with such a cliche treatment? We all do shitty stuff but as long as you can separate the shit from the rest, I think you are in right direction.

For many young filmmakers this must have been a big news that their short is selected for MFF but if this is the best we got, we seriously are not telling them the difference between good and bad cinema. I may be completely wrong but here’s my reactions to the shorts and the bets on the best.

1. Unearthed – Split screen is not experimental, it’s passe. Montage is NOT a film.

2. The Few Unfortunates – Parallel stories criss-crossing each other. Nice idea but better execution could have taken it to another level.

3. Aakra-man – A mockumentary on a superhero who speaks in Marathi,  loves the Mumbai city but can’t do much. Smart and easily stands out from the rest.

4. Ek Titli Ka Aks – You hear a voice-over and can make out that it’s by an old person but you see a young man on screen. Credit roll tells us it’s Tom Alter’s voice. So Alter recites a poetry and a young man tries to experience Mumbai. There is no sync, no emotion.

5. Krishanna – A monologue shot as a dialogue where characters are narrating their experience about the city. Great idea, very badly made.

6. Bombay Snow – Pure cinema, pure joy! This one stands out and how! Miles ahead of the rest. Unlike others, it doesn’t even try to force the “Mumbai” factor in the narrative but touches upon so many subjects beautifully – displacement issue, rural versus urban, and a young kid trying to understand the equation between dad, mom and a prostitute. Director is Chinmay Nagesh Dalvi. Dear Festival Programmers, if you are looking for shorts, pick this one!

7. Vani – The city through its sounds and visuals. Another montage.

8. This Circle Is Mine – A documentary on the guy who stands at Mumbai’s Juhu Circle holding a placard to spread the message of love and peace. Many of us have often wondered about the old man. The film tells us bit more about him. A straight narrative that doesn’t do much justice to the man’s mission or life. Great idea to pick this interesting character but a great opportunity lost too as it keeps on repeating the same things.

9. Life Is A Beach – A love story between a geek and a ship (or aliens). Very interesting take, nicely executed but this one reminds me of Abhay’s previous short Just That Sort Of A Day – similar mood, same style of voice-over.

10. Face To Face – A funny little story in this big bad Mumbai city.

11 The Waiting City – Blasts happens. People wait. Badly done.

12. Facelift – A silent short which beautifully captures the issue of mills turning into malls. The film is DOP’s show-reel for sure.

13. ‘O’ Brother??? What Art Thou.. – Finally, a short with political context. Perhaps the only city in this country where “Bhaiyya” is an abuse. And those who have never visited Mumbai, will never understand this weird problem. Nice attempt.

14. Mehrooni – This could have been set in any other city and it wouldn’t have mattered. A saccharine love story of a couple that’s says everything it shows and shows everything it says. The voice-over is unnecessary, it’s too sweet, too fake and overtly sentimental. Even Rekha Bhardwaj’s vocals could not help. Only good point – it’s well shot.

15. Adrak – A nice little love story between a photographer and a tourist that happens at the Gateway of India.

16. Khawacha – Tries to capture the politics of the game that kids play. Good idea, bad treatment.

17. Duplicate – Captures the life of three duplicates – Anil Kapoor, Govinda and Devanand’s lookalikes. But doesn’t say/discover much beyond what we all know. Also, the subject has been covered million times. If only it could have tried to dig deeper.

18. 2733-see You On The Other Side – Works at the idea level but very tacky production.

19. Life Line – Story of Trains. It just doesn’t translate what the director is trying to say. Bad.

20. Rastaa – Story of two street urchins that doesn’t say anything new or in any new way.

And here’s my pick –

1. Bombay Snow – The best. Has no competition.

2. Aakra-Man and Life Is A Beach.

3. Facelift

Let’s see what the jury decides to go with. And if the best one doesn’t win, always remember that any cinema award always says more about the jury and less about the films. Waiting and how!