Short Film Festival of Kerala

Shimla filmmaker wins Best Film Award for “PAPA” at Kerala Short Film Festival

SHIMLA- Siddharth Chauhan, a filmmaker from Shimla, has done Himachal Pradesh proud by claiming the Best Short (Fiction) Film Award for his short-film at the prestigious International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, IDSFFK 2016.

It was the first Screening of the film and it had to compete with 30 other short films at the festival held from June 10 to June 14 in Trivandrum. The festival is organized by the Kalcharitra Academy of Kerala every year and features some of the finest films from all over the world.

Dev Kanya Thakur was another filmmaker from Himachal, who was recognized this year at the festival for her short-film “No Womans Land”

“PAPA” claimed the prize with an unanimous decision by the Jury Members, who found the film ‘unique & different’ from others and ‘innovative’ in its narrative and form.

PAPA is the story of a paralyzed mother, Sushma and her young son, Rajiv, who are learning to adjust with their new life. An accident leaves their lives scarred forever. Sushma’s only hope is a pigeon, which she found in her house the same day when her husband died.

The audience widely appreciated actor Mohit Parmar’s powerful performance in the film.

The 28 minutes long short film is written, directed and produced by Siddharth Chauhan.  It was shot at at YWCA in Shimla in October in a span of six days, in a limited budget, with mostly a non professional crew in collaboration with Snow Leopard Productions and Yin & Yang Films under the banner of Secret Corridor Pictur, known for their independent films which have been doing rounds at the festivals since last 3 years, such as Boys Don’t Wear Nailpolish and Infinite Space.

The Jury consisting of K. U. Mohanan, Barbara Lorey, Nishtha Jain, Kamal Swaroop, Henry Hughes, and
Vinod Sukumaran admired the film and said,

Innovation in narrative gesture and wicked understanding of human behaviour,

The jury head was also all praise for the film, and added,

Beautiful depiction in a limited time and space, Poignant and Witty

Lead roles were played by Mohit singh Parmar, an actor from Palampur, Nandita Aron, a Jewellery Designer from Bareilly, presently a resident of Shimla, and Sushma Kaul, HOD, English Department, Bishop Cotton School, Shimla.

Behind the scenes, the crew consisted of Yashwant Kumar Sharma as cameraman, Mridul Surbhi and Aastha Sen as assistant directors, and Tanmay Das as sound recorder. We hope to see more such works from Sidharth in future.

Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan gave away the awards. In his inaugural address, he requested Culture Minister A.K. Balan to take steps to include international films in the competition category of the documentary and short film festival from next year.

Mr. Balan, who presided over the function, said that there was an urgent need for decentralisation in the release of films, as those in the smaller towns and villages also needed to have access to films.

Film-maker Kamal Swaroop, the fiction jury chairperson, said that the short fiction category had fantastic films whereas the music videos were a disappointment. Cinematographer K.U. Mohanan, the non-fiction jury chairperson, requested for a ‘better standards’ in the selection of films as there were quite a few ‘mediocre’ works.

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