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A first-of-its-kind festival of indie films and classics, celebrates spoofs and parodies.
While looking for themes for their film festival that are unexplored, Gaurav Raturi and his fellow members at Filmbooth — a Delhi-based short film organisation — zeroed in on spoofs. "We realised there was this growing space that was wacky and untapped, and there are hardly any platforms for them in India," says Raturi, who, with his team, is hosting India's first spoof film festival Spoofhmania.
A six-day festival that is on till November 24 focuses on spoofs and parodies — a growing sub-genre of comedy that is gaining prominence in India. The festival, primarily an indie cinema initiative, would feature 25 short films from around the globe. This focuses on independent short films (feature as well as animated) and videos, apart from international classics such as The Gods Must be Crazy for its retrospective section. It plans to travel to Mumbai in December with a different set of films.
Unlike in the West, spoof and parodies have never quite found their place in Indian mainstream cinema. Although a thoroughly enjoyed sub-genre used as references and sub-plots in mainstream films, spoof never made into a full-blown film genre. "Yet, this goes back a long time, not just in the West but in India too — from Mehmood spoofing Raj Kapoor in Humjoli and Kishore Kumar in Badhti Ka Naam Daari," says Nitin Sukhija, a documentary filmmaker and one of the panelists who selected the competition films to be screened in Spoofhmania. Sukhija's own film, a 2003-documentary on a spoof film Malegaon Ke Sholay of the same name would be screened at the festival too.
Films from Malegaon, a small town in Maharashtra, known to make low-budget, amateurish spoofs of Bollywood and Hollywood hits, would be screened at the closing day of the festival. "If you are talking about spoofs in India, you can't forget Malegaon — a self-contained film industry that thrives on spoofs; they made Malegaon Ke Sholay in Rs 50,000 and manage to earn Rs 2 lakh in the local market," says Raturi.