Frames Film Festival, an initiative by the BAMMC students of SIES (Nerul) College of Arts, Science and Commerce is India’s largest undergraduate film festival. Being a platform for promising filmmakers of tomorrow, the festival received 3000 plus entries from all across the world. The premiers were handpicked and screened before well known personalities of film industry to judge them. The festival was Powered by ‘Mukesh Gupta’ and Co-powered by ‘MTV Beats India’.
The 18th edition this year honoured the wonderful women of cinema and their timeless contributions with the theme ‘Kriti- A Work of Art’. ‘Kri’ represents creation and ‘Ti’ represents women of cinema. The films were divided into six different categories- International Short Films, National Short Films, Animated Films, Documentaries, Contingent Films and Music Videos.
The event kickstarted with the Inauguration Ceremony on April 14th, the guest being TV and film actor Rohitash Gaud. In an interview session, when asked about his views on the film festival, he said “It is a great initiative and a platform like this is necessary, as it will help to usher new talent.”
The first event for the day, International Short Films began by welcoming the actor judges Manoj Pahwa and Rohini Hattangadi. Mr. Manoj praised the students, “Organising such a big event in the time span of just one month and that too online, it is really amazing.” The films that were screened for this category were received exceptionally well by both the jury and the online audience. The winner of the category was ‘Immortality of Words’ by Nei Loya.
The second event for the day was National Short Films and had actors Neelu Kohli, Lubhna Salim and Gurinder Makna joining as the jury. The films showcased here drew praise from the jury for the interesting themes and ideas portrayed in the stories. The movie ‘Khawlah’ by Anujtih K was appreciated by the judges and the audience for portraying important issues, and also for other cinematic elements. The film also went on to win the National Short Films Category.
The third and final event for the day was a panel discussion on Story Writing with the guest being writer and director Amreeta Roy. When asked about the necessity of complex language in stories, she answered that for the understanding of common man, simple language is preferred.
The second day started with the screening of Animation Films, the jury included Munjal Shroff, Shilpa Ranade and Soumitra Ranade. The judges answered questions based on the art of animation and gave insight into what it takes to make a career in the field. “There is a temperament involved, a lot of work goes into it, you have to be dedicated and ready to work long hours, it is also important to have your own voice and not imitate anybody,” said Shilpa Ranade. The films that were screened were met with praise from the judges for their uniqueness, the ideas explored and the different styles of animation used. The one that stood out and went on to win the category was ‘The White Whale’ by Amir Mehran.
The next category of films were Documentaries and the judges were Attar Singh, Barun Mukherjee and Vibha Bakshi. The jury was impressed with the selection of documentaries, all of which varied in terms of subject matter and presentation. They answered questions on one making documentaries. Attar Singh advised, “You have to go with the flow and capture as much as you can while staying true to your intent.” The documentary ‘Through the Eyes of an Artist’ directed by Abhishek Swain was crowned as the winner of this category.
The second day concluded with a panel discussion on Movie Poster Redesigning and the jury included Vikramjit Sachdev and Gautam Benegal. They discussed the importance and impact of good posters as well as various elements that go into the making.
The third and final day of the festival began with the screening of Contingent Films. Several colleges across Mumbai submitted undergraduate films, hence this category is specially dedicated to them. The jury consisted of actors Rajesh Kumar and Bhavana Balsaver. The judges admired the student made films and the creativity displayed in them. “You have to be passionate, patient and be persevering because acting is a lot more than just standing in front of a camera and saying the dialogues, it is being a different person,” said Bhavana Balsaver. The film ‘Clay’ by Contingent ‘Geet’ was declared as the winner of this category.
The next category was Music Videos and the judges were pianist and composer Merlin D’souza and singer-songwriter Vasundhara Das. The jury and the online audience were blown away by the beautiful tunes and stunning visuals of the videos that were screened. When asked about how singers/musicians should approach Music Videos, Vasundhara Das responded, “The video has to be in service of the song, it is different from films where the songs are serving the visuals.” ‘Milaya’ by Maria Makovskaya received praise from the judges for its aesthetic visuals, its storyline, and other musical elements. It was announced as the winner of the category Music Videos.
The following event for was a panel discussion on photography with Surabhi Nair and Jayesh Mistry. They discussed in depth about the world of professional photography and gave a message to those wanting to join the field. “Be consistent, love your work, be your own judge and never give up” said Surabhi Nayar. “Love the process, there is a lot to learn,” added Jayesh Mistry.
The final leg of the festival, Awards Ceremony was organized in order to felicitate the winners. The results were declared by veteran actress Rohini Hattangadi, as she returned after having been on the jury for International Short Films. The faculty thanked all the judges, the sponsors, media partners and the students who worked hard to ensure that the festival was organised with the same enthusiasm and vigour as in the past.
Frames Film Festival again proved to raise the bar of excellence and that it will continue to serve in the future as an ultimate platform for the upcoming and budding filmmakers of tomorrow.