CHENNAI: Stuck in the great unknown, passing every day as it comes, people across the globe have been looking for new ways to battle the novel coronavirus and climb out of the dark abyss of difficulties. In times of such crisis, the arts and artists, have time and again come to the rescue and rendered their service to keep in check the mental and physical health of those in need, and kept positivity afloat. Cinema Rendezvous, a not-for-profit registered trust and a film club (a wing of Savera Hotel) headed by actor, entrepreneur and movie enthusiast Shylaja Chetlur, has been doing its bit by hosting virtual discussions on films and story writing sessions.
As part of its effort to keep the creativity flowing and the love for cinema, going, the club will now be hosting a ‘Lock Down Shortfilm Contest’. “As a club, we are used to meeting at least once a month and because of that, a certain synergy has been created. So it was important for us to come up with ideas to keep members and enthusiasts engaged. After a successful session where around 12 participants got together to write character sketches, I thought the next should be a platform for people to explore the world of short-filmmaking,” says Shylaja, adding that her observation of a surge in people’s usage of mobile cameras to shoot ‘quarantine home videos’ came in handy to ideate the concept.
Themed ‘Lockdown Love’, the competition urges people to describe one or many things that gave them solace during the lockdown. From pets, the microgreens at home, new lifestyle practices, to a person, it can be anything and everything but, the ‘stay at home narratives’ shouldn’t exceed three minutes. “There’s a prevailing sense of negativity and sometimes we have to tell ourselves to be happy; do things that give us a ray of hope and a dose of positivity...something as simple as looking at the mirror as you brush and thinking that you look nice today can make you feel a little better. To make people recognise these objects, people or emotions was important,” she says.
The film club has joined hands with Savera Hotel’s Eco wing, Green Goddesses initiative to host the contest. “The competition is powered by Savera Hotel and we will be announcing prizes in three categories — Best Short Documentary, Best Short Fiction and Specific Focus: Environment. The prize money is `5,000 (each),” she shares.
The contest, Shylaja says, is also a personal endeavour to connect senior citizens with the youngsters while they are together at home. “The bond and respect has to be mutual and won’t happen unless there’s an effort from both sides. This short film contest, I think will be a good opportunity for people and families to bond. People will perhaps understand that the visual media tells stories that have a more endearing value to humankind than just entertainment,” she says.
Up, up and away!
Shoot, edit, and email the video to firstname.lastname@example.org before July 1. Winners will be announced on July 8. For details, visit Facebook page Cinema Rendezvous or call 9514895141