Friday, May 20, 2016

Winners of Golden Elephant Trophy- Interview

A few students from La Martiniere Boys School Kolkata recently won the Golden Elephant trophy for Best Film under "Little Directors" Category at the 19th Golden Elephant, International Childrens Film Festival. 

The film made by these students "Hue am I?" depicts the effeminate side of boys, and how one should embrace it instead of stereotyping it. 
The crew consisted of Arya Ganguli,  Shreevar Chhotaria, Ravjit Singh, Atif Ally Dagman and Vaibhav Dubey.

The students were felicitated by Bichitra Pathshala for their achievements and a small interview was conducted to ask the students about their experience and their influences: 

What is the background concept of your film "Hue Am I"?
We started working on the film for a competition where the topic given to us was "He who looks after her". So we wanted to take a different approach to depict the theme in our film. Instead the female as the subject, we wanted to show the effeminate side of man which is more often looked down on and scorned, on the basis of gender bias. 

We thought of showing the sides using masks initially but then since lighting is an integral part of the filmmaking process, we decided to use colored lights to show the dual personalities of men, the macho side and the effeminate side. 

How does the film unfold its theme? 

The film starts with a conversation where certain gender stereotypes are brought up, like boys watching Gossip Girls or them crying. These things are later contradicted as the film progresses and we see that side of man indeed does exist. 

What equipment did you use to shoot the film and what experiences did you have? 

Film was shot using a canon XA10 and floodlights which were provided by the school itself, which was of great help. Other than that, blue and pink cellophane papers were used as filters for the lights. Funny thing was that the production cost of the film was just Rs 4, which is the cost of the cellophane. 

Who are your inspirations, people you really look up to? 

Christopher Nolan is one of our major influences because of his style and his minimal use of CGI to depict extraordinary things. Steven Spielberg is another such director who inspires us, and we appreciate all the masterpieces that he has written and shot.
In recent times, another director Alejandro Innaritu has risen up the ranks and made some amazing films with spectacular cinematography and has once again influenced us.

What kind of environment do you have for filmmaking and other such activities in school? 

The school inspires us to be multi faceted and provides us with all the help and support that we need. They give us a lot of scope and even the teachers and our seniors are helpful.

We have an annual Film Festival called Phoenix Short Film Competition which is organised by the Readers Club of our school. Besides that, the school sends us to various festivals and competitions where we can showcase our talents.

Bichitra Pathshala has also helped us out a lot having organised events like Earth Reel and invited us to these events.

Tell us something about your award and how did the selection process happen? 

We won the Golden Elephant trophy for Best Film under "Little Directors" Category at the 19th Golden Elephant, International Childrens Film Festival which has two sections, one being the competition section and the other the non competition one. 

There were entries from around 80 countries in the festival and 34 film were shortlisted from over a 1000 entries.

The final screening happened in Hyderabad and we won the award there. The experience was very good and it had the feel of a proper film festival. We met a lot of talented people there and have kept in touch with them.

Do you think your film deserved the award? 

Though our work wasnt very professional and the audio was a little faulty, we believe that the concept of the film came on top and that was crucial for our win.

The win influenced us and we are now confident about pursuing it further and we are now ready to compete with professionals and make our work even better.
What plans do you have for the future?

We'll be taking up mass communication, either in the city or Pune, Mumbai where there are a good number of colleges for the course. We'll keep making films and keep our focus on that and hopefully take it up in the future.

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