Alliance Française de Pune, in association with Lost the Plot and MIT Institute of Design, recently featured a special selection of short films by students of MIT that tell stories of the rarely-explored aspects of our society.
Students of the Film & Video Design department of MIT make about 40 short films in each semester. A selection of five of these short films are slated to be sent as entries to international film festivals. These films were subtitled in French through a joint collaboration by the Alliance Française de Pune and BITS Pvt Ltd and were screened here.
Shubham Goyal, an alumnus of MITID, and maker of the film Singhasth, says that the Kumbh mela inspired him to make the short film. “Why do so many people go there every time there is a Kumbh mela, I always wondered. I wanted to explore it.
Also, it is not only the aged and very religious people attending the mela, but the young and ‘not-too-religious’ ones also queue the ghats in an age of social media and networking. This always intrigued me and hence the choice of subject,” Goyal says.
Goyal was aided by a group of six people in the making of his movie, including technicians. All these people went to Ujjain in 2016 and camped there for a good 15 days, living in temporary sheds, to experience the real Kumbh.
“Even with so many people present in one place at the same time, everyone there seems at peace with life and everything around them. There is no chaos, no haste or worry on anyone’s face. It is all very fascinating to watch and capture,” Goyal elaborates.
Speaking of his learning experience in filmmaking, Goyal says that it is now “an essential part” of his life. He credits this to his professors, especially thanking Prof Indrajit Neogi, HoD, Film and Video Design at MIT, who is present at the screening.
How does he build these filmmakers, we ask him. “We expose budding directors to all kinds of cinema. In the process, they discover their strengths and get to make their choices. All these movies have been made by these students completely with just some guidance from us. The topics too were chosen by them solely,” says Neogi, adding, “We only ensure that the chosen subject is feasible to work on and that the end product is a good one. We only act as mentors.”
Goyal agrees. “I never thought that I will put in such efforts to make a film. But our professors have ensured our complete dedication towards our work and now I am in love with what I do,” he says.
Four students of MIT have also made a movie in collaboration with a faculty member. It was called Pehraan and was designed to give students the opportunity to work with experienced minds in the field.
Powerful, poignant, impressive, these films bring forth a new perspective to events, issues and relations. Other movies screened here were Vaari by Gaurav Joshi, The Vesture by Nimish Gaur, Rangg by Prachiti Khavte, and Almond Roses by Smriti Thakur.