chat Director Vijay Vemuri talks about his short film ‘Artificial’ that won an award at the Nevada Film Festival

Afirst-time film-maker, Vijay Vemuri is on a happy high and he has every reason to be; Vijay’s short film, Artificial got the 2012 Platinum Reel award at the Nevada Film Festival in the short film category. The 21-minute film was shot using a rented Canon 5D close to four years after the script was written. “I was in San Francisco when I got the film-making bug because I started watching an array of films and I turned a random idea into a script. I am intrigued by psycho-thrillers and that’s how Artificial came to be,” he says. Years of experience in software and just a couple of screen-writing certifications under his belt, Vijay decided to take the plunge and move to India “It was a big leap of faith, to leave a ‘safe’ life and to jump into film-making but since I don’t have baggage, it helps,” he smiles.

Available for viewing on Youtube, the film, Artificial was made on a budget of Rs. 2.5 lakhs and Vijay still says that he could have made it for lesser. It took him two years to find the right people to help him make his movie. The casting process alone took close to two years to complete but he believes the efforts have paid off. “Abhinav and Supriya both did an excellent job, I just gave them a narration and they figured out the rest,” he says. The film portrays an upper middle class couple in India. On a seemingly normal premise, demonic possession, strange fantasies come to the fore. Why call it artificial? “When you watch the film, you’ll find the film and the situation to be unreal; the sequences deliberately lack consistency to depict a lack of balance and ‘truth’. Hence it becomes ‘Artificial’,” he says. Vijay realises that perhaps this subject might be too vague for people to get. “Messages need to be loud, otherwise people don’t get it,” says Vijay.

vishnupriya bhandaram