Filmmakers push for short films

Three filmmakers, known for their unique style of movie-making, have come together to judge documentaries sent over the Internet. Sooni Taraporevala, director of Little Zizou and writer of Salaam Bombay, director of Aamir and No One Killed Jessica Raj Kumar Gupta and Harishchandrachi Factory director Paresh Mokashi have come together to select the winning entries of the short film contest called Premier - The Short Film Festival. The initiative is open to amateur and professional film makers to create a short film and have it showcased on sponsor channel UTV World Movies. Along with the screening, the top three winners will also get a chance to work with Mokashi. "I think this is a fantastic idea. The theme of premiere is also interesting as we will get to see fresh talent from across the country through this initiative," Taraporevala said.

To be eligible, participants need to upload their entries on YouTube link and submit their entry on the sponsor's website. The duration of the film must be 10 minutes or less. Asked for any other criterion that the jury would look for to select winners, Gupta said, "We are open to anything. The contest is full of possibilities for us. We will look for the story and his or her way of telling the story to select the winners. The more original the story, the better."

Taraporevala said she hoped the initiative will help promote the culture of short films and documentaries which are almost non-existent in the country. "Looking at the response to Premier, we will see if we can showcase such films in theatres. We could look at showing three to six short films instead of one film of three hours to help promote the medium. However, we also need to develop audiences for that. The new wave of exhibiting movies on social networking websites is an exciting change and gives me hope that short films have a future in the country," she said.

The initiative is being promoted on air, on social networking websites as well as some leading Film and Mass Communication colleges in the country. The contest is open till March 20. It has received around 60 entries so far.

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