Film-maker Chandraprakash Dwivedi (in red) and other guests at the film festival in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Domestic violence, life of a eunuch, pangs of poverty, questions of a curious mind — the issues were as varied as they are alarming at the three-day students’ film festival, which kicked off at St Xavier’s College, Ranchi, from Tuesday.
The inauguration of Cynosure 2013 saw an august gathering that included filmmaker Chandraprakash Dwivedi of Pinjar and television epic Chanakya fame as the chief guest and Shaival, the author of the play Damul (later made into a film by Prakash Jha) among others.
Of the 12 fictions and documentaries screened on Day One, the most poignant perhaps were Tritiya Panthi and Face it.
Made by students of Xavier Institute of Communication (XIC), Mumbai, the first was a 12-minute-40-second documentary on the identity crisis faced by kinnars or eunuchs.
It emphasised on the human right to live with dignity, which these people are rarely allowed in our society.
The second, also made by the same cradle, was an intriguing 13-minute documentary on a woman’s helplessness in a patriarchal society. The film shows an angry man subjecting his wife to extreme torture by burning her face, an instance of brutality reflecting real-life torment women in India face.
On the inaugural day, the St Xavier’s auditorium also saw other films like Life of a Rickshaw-puller, a reel take on the canker of poverty by third-year students of mass communication of the same college Ravi Vishwa and Munjir Ahmed.
“It is heartrending to see these people sleeping on pavements in bitter cold. They are citizens of this country too. They elect a government like us. So, the latter owes them some responsibility,” said Ahmed.
Age Mate, another four-minute-32-second documentary focussed on a child’s mind, questions of his growing up years and how a father deals with it. The film was made by students of Karim City College in Jamshedpur.
Fictions like Autumn and Mera Kya Kasoor, short films Ek Chouthai Yaad and Sahyog and PSAs (public service announcements) Quit Smoking and Eve-Teasing were part of the day’s film calendar.
Priyanka Sawiaya, a student of Geography at St Xavier’s, Ranchi, said she felt enlightened after attending the screenings.
“This festival has given us an opportunity to watch films made by students of different colleges. I appreciate the focus on social issues. It shows how our generation is actively involved in bettering the society,” she said.
Tuhina Singh, studying mass communication in the same college, gave full marks to Tritiya Panthi. “The film has a great topic and is executed well too.”
Jharkhand filmmaker Meghnath, however, felt there was scope for improvement. “Efforts to highlight social issues is laudable. But, execution can be improved. It is from our mistakes that we will learn,” he said.
The festival, which is seeing the active participation of 12 cradles from across India and will continue till January 24, will see two dozen reel creations, including Abodh, Human for Sale and Fariyaad.