Indian silent documentary ‘Pirana’ on the journey of waste, directed by Nainisha Dedhia, announced as the ‘Best Short Film’ at the Vishwarang International Film Festival (VIFF) 2020
Bhopal, November 27, 2020: Indian documentary film ‘Pirana’, directed by Nainisha Dedhia, has been announced as the ‘Best Short Film’ at the Vishwarang International Film Festival (VIFF) 2020, which was held recently as part of the week-long Tagore International Literature & Arts Festival ‘Vishwarang 2020’. The winning short film was awarded the VIFF 2020 Platinum Prize Trophy, a cash prize of INR 51,000 and a certificate at the closing ceremony of the Film Festival.
‘Pirana’ was chosen from among six short films that were screened at the Film Festival under the ‘Competition’ category. Albanian short film ‘The White Sheets’ by Pandeli Ceco was awarded the VIFF 2020 Gold Prize Trophy and a cash prize of INR 31,000 while Indian short film ‘Sondhayni’ by Seral Murmu was the winner of the VIFF 2020 Silver Prize Trophy and a cash prize of INR 21,000. A total of 600 entries were received under this category, from which the Jury had selected six movies for screening. The other three movies that were screened under the ‘Competition’ category at the Film Festival included Portuguese documentary ‘The Celluloid Woman’, Indian documentary movie ‘Gond Art’ as well as Indian short film ‘Anti Hero’.
The winning documentary ‘Pirana’, on the largest dumping site of Ahmedabad, showcases the journey of waste, where it comes from to where it finally goes. The fact that the documentary is a silent portrayal of the journey makes it even more interesting. In her acceptance speech while receiving the award, Nainisha said, “The idea of the film came from the very fact that such a burning issue has taken a back seat and excessive consumption and convenience have taken precedence over all those things. So, the idea behind the film was to make something that does not romanticize the idea of waste or does not throw a lot of information at your face; it’s just one piece of information which we are all aware of. The motive behind the film was to leave a lingering afterthought as that is what brings about change and that I feel is one step in the correct direction.”
The entries for the ‘Competition’ Category of VIFF 2020 were invited under three categories: Art & Culture, Science & Technology and Nature & Wildlife. The entries could either be short narratives or documentaries of maximum 20 minutes, which were either fresh or made after 1st January 2018.
The Jury for the competition consisted of eminent arts & film personalities such as veteran Filmmaker and Cinematographer Rajendra Jangaly; Producer and Founder of Loudspeaker Media, Mauli Singh; Screenwriter Shreya Bhattacharya; Art Critic and Anchor Vinay Upadhyay; and VIFF 2020’s Director Sudeep Sohni, who is a playwright, poet, singer, columnist, writer, and director who juggles between theatre and cinema.
During a Jury Discussion session on the last day of the Festival, Film Producer Mauli Singh said, “The decision that we took was quite unanimous and I didn’t think that the decision could be taken so easily. I think all the films were great, even the films that couldn't make it to the top 3 were great. There were few very special films that we could not include in the winning list but on the whole it was a great experience and congratulations to all the filmmakers.”
Apart from the six movies that were screened under the ‘Competition’ Category, six short films and documentaries were screened under the ‘Non-Competition’ category at the inaugural edition of Vishwarang International Film Festival. These short films included Indian Documentary in Hindi ‘Dusky Beauty’ directed by Aastha Agrawal; Indian Short Film in Hindi ‘Zari Wala Aasman’ directed by Aasif Moyal; French Short Film ‘Vincent Before Noon’ directed by Guillaume Mainguet; Indian Short Film in Marathi ‘Prashna’ directed by Santosh Ram; English Short Film from India ‘By The Window’ directed by Madhura Dalimbkar; and Indian Short Film in Hindi ‘Rukhsana’ directed by Muhammad Zorjis.
The Film Festival Team also invited some noteworthy international and national short films to be screened at VIFF 2020. The movies that were screened under this category included Turkish film ‘Zer’ directed by Kazim Oz, Hindi-English Film ‘Painting Life’ directed by Dr Biju, Maithili language Indian film ‘Gamak Ghar’ directed by Dr Achal Mishra and Indian film ‘The Immortals’ directed by Dr Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, which is available in four languages.
Another major highlight of the last day of the Film Festival was a Masterclass with Indian filmmaker and National Film Award winner, Dr Shivendra Singh Dungarpur on the topic ‘Need to Save Cinematic Heritage’. During his address, Dr Dungarpur said, "Nowadays everyone thinks that they can make a film. Anyone with a mobile or any other digital device immediately feels that they can make a film. But what many people don’t realise is that film has a language. Cinema for me means a journey, a visual journey that has a form through which I am able to express myself, and which is within a very low key cinematic language."
The Masterclass by Dr Dungarpur was among a series of Masterclasses that were conducted during the four-day long Film Festival by eminent film personalities such as renowned actor Mohan Agashe on ‘Actor and Life’; National Award Winner Dr Bijukumar on ‘Cinematic Language of a Director’; and noted screenwriters Pubali Chaudhuri and Atika Chohan on the subject ‘New Age Writing in Hindi Cinema’.
The first edition of Vishwarang International Film Festival, which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was very well received and appreciated by the audience. The event was held from 23rd to 26th November as part of Vishwarang 2020, also known as the Tagore International Literature & Arts Festival 2020. Organized by Bhopal-based Rabindranath Tagore University (RNTU), in collaboration with the Tagore International Centre for Arts and Culture Bhopal and the AISECT Group of Universities, Vishwarang 2020 aims to promote Indian literature, art and culture on a global scale via discussions, discourse and more. The second edition of Vishwarang is being held from 20th to 29th November with participation from over 1,000 authors and artists from more than 50 countries.