Beating several impressive films that were being showcased at the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Panaji, a movie made by an amateur has been shortlisted for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
The film, screened at IFFI, was made as part of a unique initiative '24x7' under which amateur filmmakers were given a camera and other equipment and asked to make a fiction film on nature and violence.
The film was watched by delegates from Cannes and was shortlisted, filmmaker Dev Benegal, who supervised the competition, said.
"All we can say at this point is that the film has been shortlisted but I do not want to reveal other details as it is a delicate situation right now. We do not want to jeopardize its prospects," he said.
The competition was held as a platform for young filmmakers. "Number 24 is very instrumental in this competition. The participants have be under 24 years of age. The duration of the film has to be not less than 24 seconds and not more than 24 minutes. The entire film, including the editing and shooting, had to be completed within 24 hours," Benegal said, pointing out that to make a film in 24 hours and give it a world premiere at a film festival was a platform that most filmmakers would dream about.
"In my struggle as a filmmaker, I have learnt that to struggle with the institutionalised model of film making, which includes financiers, film stars and producers, kills creativity," he said.
Forty people were chosen to participate in the competition this year as compared to 24 last year.
"We had the competition at the Kala Ghoda festival in Mumbai last year, but this year Neelam Kapur invited us to Goa so that there could be international exposure. The concept that a film maker can be born in 24 hours without having to go through the struggle, is very attractive," he said.