Twenty-one year old V. Rohin’s ‘Nanba,’ a nine-minute short, won the ‘Council General’ prize — the second place — in the competition at the recent International Student Short Film Festival of Cergy – Pontoise, by TYO Ensea, France, 2010. The prize money comprised an amount of 1500€. ‘Nanba’ was selected for the honour from about 30 short films that competed from around the world. ‘Hell Rider’ from Germany secured the first position.

Rohin is a student of L.V. Prasad Film and Television Academy, Chennai, and has a string of achievements to his credit beginning with his short on freedom fighter Subramania Siva. ‘Nanba’ has already bagged several awards locally, and also at fests in Coimbatore and Ernakulam. It was also the only Indian film officially selected for the international section at the short film competition in Potsdam, Germany, and at the 9th International Short Film Festival — MSSF 09 — in the Czech Republic.

‘Nanba’ is about two young boys – Sandeep (Gaurav) and Santhosh (Raja Mohan) -- studying in Class V. Both do equally well in the exams and win the teacher’s appreciation but Santhosh isn’t happy to be on a par with Sandeep. Challenging Sandeep that he would do even better in the next exam, he begins to work hard, but Sandeep isn’t as obsessed with the approaching exam. Tension and jealousy hamper Santhosh’s concentration. The boys, played by Rajmohan and Gaurav, are natural in their reactions. The film has more than one message to impart but Rohin layers them in such a way that they are subtle. And when eventually Santhosh makes up with his friend and grudgingly asks, “Shall we study together,” you can’t help smiling because after all, children, despite their bouts of idiosyncrasies, remain children!

Making a point or two in a matter of minutes can be quite a task but Rohin has achieved it.