FILM FESTIVAL The 15th edition of Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival gets underway to introduce world cinema to the local audience, writes T.SARAVANAN

The five-day annual festival opens at Prem Nivas Hotel and Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College on December 6. The movies to be screened simultaneously at different venues in the city, Gandhigram and Dindigul call for a better understanding of the society.

“We have been organising this event with a view to sensitising the people. Festivals like these can make them more responsible,” says Amudhan R.P., the Festival Director.

More than 100 films will be screened this time round. The movies are being screened in public spaces including educational institutions in order to attract a high turn out, according to him.

Organised by Marupakkam, a forum for media activism with an objective to use documentary films on social issues for discussion and action, the film festival will screen movies under different categories including short films, documentaries and animation films from overseas, short films from Tamil Nadu and Rest of India. Documentaries from other parts of the country will also be screened.

Under the Retrospective section, films of renowned filmmaker Pankaj Butalia will be showcased. “Film selection was very inclusive, considering the new styles, genres and questions that have emerged in the last decade in the country. Films that deal with various socio-political and cultural debates have been included this year,” says Amudhan.

The inaugural film will be Kanche Aur Postcards (Marbles and Postcard) by Ridham Janve. It runs for 29 mins 55secs with English subtitles. This short film is an everyday, light-hearted story of a schoolboy on a vacation. He wants to play the game of marbles but denied an opportunity. Seen through the eyes of the young protagonist, the film is full of drama with deeply felt rejections, difficult choices and unfortunate compromises. Through its innocence and simplicity, the film explores deeper themes of class, caste, control and acceptance. It also reminds us of the often overlooked yet very essential differences of perception and understanding between children and adults.

FILMS: RETROSPECTIVE (by Pankaj Butalia): Moksha (Salvation), 1993, Karvaan (Shadows in the dark), 1999, Tracing the Arc , 2003, A Million Steps , 2003, An Island of Hope , 2010, Kahani Ek Gaon Ki , 2012, The Textures Of Loss , 2013.

FROM TAMIL NADU: Vakri Chokku , Director: Krishnamoorthy; 13mins, 2013, Maayai Nizhalkal (silent movie), Dir: Venkat; 14mins 17sec; 2013

FROM REST OF INDIA (short films): Aakhir (At last), Dir: Tarun Jain; 15 mins 40 secs; Hindi; 2012, MelawaThe festival of marriages , Dir: Junaid Imam; 17 mins 25 secs; Hindi; 2013, Ek Kulta Ek Raja- The Only King , Dir: Junaid Imam; 17 mins 25 secs; Marathi; 2013, The Boy And The Parrot , Dir: Sagar Shriskar; 8mins 23 secs; English; 2013.

(Documentaries): I burnt my fingers , Dir: Kamlesh Udesi; 33mins39 secs; Gujarati; 2013, No Problem! – Six months With The Barefoot Grandmamas , Dir: Yasmin Kidwai; 56 mins 14 secs; English and Hindi; 2012, Porattangalude Monnamkannu (Third eye of resistance), Dir: Razi; 95 mins; Malayalam and English; 2012.

INTERNATIONAL (short films): Mecs Meus , Dir: Liam Engle; 3mins; French; 2013, Descent into Hell , Dir: Sergi Guibas Arnau; 14mins 57secs; Spanish; 2013, Vaterlandsliebe / A German Loves His Fatherland , Dir: Nico Sommer; 20 mins 10 secs; German; 2011, Erinnerungen An Den Sommer / Remembering The Summer , Dir: Friedrich Tieditke; 10 mins 20secs; German; 2012.

(Documentaries) : Alegria do lar/ The Joy of a Home , Dir: Ana Isabel Martins; 20 mins; Portuguese; 2013, Sorry to Interrupt , Dir: Dravid M. Lorenz ; 13mins; German; 2012, In Zukunft / In Future , Dir: Darja Pilz; 64mins; Russian; 2013, Casa Luz / House of Light , Dir: Towanda Films / Navina Khatib; 64 mins; Spanish; 2013.

(Animation) : The Hopper , Dir: Alex Bruel Flagstad; 17 mins; English; 2012, 20Zwolf / 20Twelve , Dir: Christian Stahl; 3 mins 34 secs; German; 2012, Grunes Gold / Green Gold , Dir: Barbara Marheineke; 13 mins 10 secs; German; 2012, Andersartig / Different , Dir: Dennis Stein-Schomburg; 04 mins 30 secs; German; 2011.

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