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Updated: June 7, 2012 19:40 IST

On cloud nine

Athira M.
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Shalini Usha Nair. Photo: S. Gopakumar
The Hindu
Shalini Usha Nair. Photo: S. Gopakumar

Shalini Usha Nair is elated that she got to make the signature film of IDSFFK 2012

Before she travels to the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) with her debut film Akam, Shalini Usha Nair has another reason to feel all pumped up. She has made the signature film for the fifth International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) which begins today.

The city-based filmmaker has come out with a 30-second long “stop motion animation work”.

It is a cinematic technique used to make still objects appear as if they are moving, by making a series of frames play as a continuous sequence. “It was fun, since I haven't done it before. Plus, I had a great team to back me, including Binendran Menon, the director of photography, and Sajith Kumar M, the production designer,” says Shalini.

Bridging cultures

It shows one of the birds in the logo flying away, moving across various natural terrain, covering famous monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower and Leaning Tower of Pisa.

“The idea we wanted to convey is that cinema is the shortest distance between any two cultures. Everything is shown from the bird's point of view and so you get top angle shots,” Shalini explains.

“We had to make miniature of the monuments and the terrain. The shoot was hectic since the work would go on for hours at a stretch, for stop motion animation demands it. But I like to experiment with the craft of filmmaking and this is one such technique,” says Shalini, who learnt filmmaking at the Prague Film School in The Czech Republic.

She worked with directors Ketan Mehta (Rang Rasiya) and T.K.Rajeev Kumar (Shesham) and did a stint in advertising, before she made her debut in Mollywood with Akam, a psychological thriller, which was screened at the 16th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).

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