The ninth season of India Film Project (IFP) will be held in Mumbai on October 12-13. Founded in 2011, the content festival is one of the biggest platforms for aspiring filmmakers and storytellers in Asia.
It’s flagship event, the 50-hour filmmaking challenge, was conducted between September 27 to 29. Competing teams were assigned to script, shoot, edit and submit a film in under 50 hours.
The categories were broken up into professional, amateur and mobile filmmaking. Over 32,000 filmmakers from 28 countries had participated in 2018, making over 1,500 short films in two days.
The jury members for this year’s 50-hour challenge are directors Abhishek Chaubey, Pradeep Sarkar, Anjali Menon and Pan Nalin. Chaubey, who has directed critically-acclaimed films like Ishqiya, Udta Punjab and Sonchiriya, said ‘content’ is the lifeblood of any filmmaking project.
“Technical finesse comes lower in the order for me. What matters most is the core idea and the clarity of vision with which it’s told,” he said, adding how digital technology has made filmmaking more accessible.
Pradeep Sarkar hailed video-sharing platforms like YouTube for spurring the short film boom across the globe.
“I started my career in advertising where we told stories within 20-30 seconds. From there, I went to making feature films. There was no intermediate short format back then. It’s a new phenomenon that has happened because of the internet.”
Writer-filmmaker Apurva Asrani, who is judging the annual scriptwriting challenge, said how he’s followed IFP since its inception and participated in previous panels.
“It does a fabulous job of connecting industry professionals with upcoming artists.”Asrani hailed brevity as the foremost skill of a screenwriter.
“Just because you are making a short film doesn’t mean the idea needs to be small. I am looking out for writers who can communicate big ideas in a short span. Also important is filmmaker’s intent – if he or she is touching upon an issue or reflecting the psychology of our times.”
Last year, IFP added a new event to its fixture called the ‘storytelling challenge’. The section is dedicated to poets and spoken word performers to showcase their talent.
Storyteller Amandeep Singh, who is on the jury for this year’s event, said, “Oral narratives have always been a part of our culture; it’s a craft that integrates the artiste and the audience in an intimate way. At IFP, I want participants to bring absolute honesty to their pieces. The purpose of any art, whether it’s cinema or literature, is to communicate genuine feelings.”
Miscellaneous events at IFP
Last year, IFP added a new event to its fixture called the ‘storytelling challenge’. The section is dedicated to poets and spoken word performers. This edition will also feature talks and discussions by Nitish Tiwari, Vikramaditya Motwane, Manoj Bajpayee, Tahira Kashyap, Kubra Sait, Jim Sarbh, Patrick Graham and others. The festival will conclude with the 50-hour filmmaking award ceremony.