FILMS The ongoing Spoofhmania film festival in New Delhi highlights examples of the irreverentart form from India and abroad. BUDHADITYA BHATTACHARYA
The art of spoofing isn’t hard to master. So many things seem filled with the intent to be spoofed, that their spoofing is no disaster.
Take “Creamerica”, for instance. The short film by Subhashani Dewada, Vinimay Kaul and Varoon Anand tells the story of a disappearing dead body, in the fashion of Kundan Shah’s “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro”, and mounts on it spoofs of James Bond films, “The Godfather”, and the popular serial “CID”. The case of the disappearing body is investigated simultaneously by a private detective, who refers to himself as Names Pond, and by the DIC, headed by CP Kaddumal (ably assisted, it must be said, by Haya).
The film is being screened as part of Spoofhmania, a film festival that attempts to give physical co-ordinates to an art whose appreciation has been limited to the Internet. Fittingly, it is being held at different locations in the Capital – at Epicentre in Gurgaon, The Pint Room in Vasant Kunj, Kunzum Travel Café and Iron Curtain in Hauz Khas Village and Siri Fort, for the grand finale on the 25th of this month.
Apart from “Creamerica”, some of the films being screened are “Tere Bin Laden”, a Bollywood spoof on Osama Bin Laden and America’s war on terror, “Spider-Plant Man”, a short spoof on superhero films featuring Rowan Atkinson and Simon Pegg and “Sita Sings The Blues”, an animated feminist retelling of Ramayana, among others. The festival also spotlights the spoof industry of Malegaon, with screenings of Sheikh Nasir Khan’s “Malegaon Ke Sholay” by Sheikh Nasir Khan, a documentary by the same name by Nitin Sukhija and the recent “Supermen of Malegaon” by Faiza Khan. Additionally, videos by How It Should Have Ended, a viral video platform that suggests alternative conclusions to popular films like “Inception” and “Paranormal Activity”, will also be screened.
Apart from films, the festival will also feature stand up comedy gigs and a poster making competition adjudicated by Rahul DaCunha, the managing director of DaCunha Communications, the advertising agency behind the popular Amul hoardings, and Akshar Pathak, founder of Minimal Bollywood Posters.
Curated and conceptualised by Filmbooth, the festival represented an escape from the issue based short film festivals that the collective has been organising in the Capital since its inception in 2008.
The festival “aims to become an annual fixture where everyone who is doing crazy, wacky – whether its artists, filmmakers or cartoonists – comes together and celebrates this crazy side of life,” explains Gaurav Raturi, a co-founder at Filmbooth. Explaining the need for spoofs, he adds, “We need a let off from the mainstream noise and it is a good way of de-stressing also.”