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Letting silences speak

Molecules Creations, a media forum, is hoping to create space for unheard voices and unknown filmmakers in its forthcoming and first international documentary film festival to be held in December here. It is looking for unusual and rare entries


MOLECULES CREATIONS, an independent media forum, is organising an international documentary film festival on December 18 and 19 at the Ambedkar Bhavan here. The theme of the film festival, and the title too, is Voicing Silences. The festival, according to K. Suchendra Prasad, theatre and film personality and the mover and shaker behind the fest, will articulate and give expression to silences of different sorts — whether of an Afghan refugee in Iran or victim of caste inequality in India or the huge problem of unaffordable medical insurance American families face. While the festival will voice a range of silences, it also hopes to be a platform for documentary filmmakers who have not found spaces or <129>forums to showcase their works.

Molecules Creations is hoping to receive 50 or more entries for the festival, of which 10 will be selected for screening, five on each day. The selected entries "will be ones that voice silences the best". A three-member jury comprising filmmaker and CEO of Pet Care Channel, Philip Cohen, U.S.A., filmmakers Mary Frymire from Canada, and Daniel Vujic from the U.S., will make the selection, says Suchendra, who is co-ordinating the festival along with Rajesh Joshi, filmmaker and theatre personality from Delhi.

The list

The festival will showcase films of the kind Molecules has received so far: Life of Death by Dawn Westcase, In Another Life by Steve, Bloodletting by Lorena Green, The Die is Caste by Ranjan Kamath, 46 Degrees Root of the Wind by Ignatio, Argentina; An Afghan's Future by Sucprice, Italy; My World, Zeljko, Serbia, Single Between Two Words by Ian Hardy, France; and one on its way, The Man Who Knew Bush by Marc Berlin, a relative of U.S. President George Bush. More entries are on their way.

Molecules Creations has evolved a few guidelines for entrants:

The documentary can be in any language with English subtitles.

One copy of the film should be submitted in VCD/ VHS format.

The entry should be labelled with the title, running time, name of the director, and date of production.

A filmmaker can send in more than one film, for which a separate entry form is available.

Molecules Creations will keep the copies of the submitted documentaries in its archives and may use the same at other screenings.

The last date to submit entries is November 10. The decision of the jury on the 10 selected films, which will be out on November 12, is final and binding. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. E-mail moleculescreations@yahoo.co.in for the forms.

Interactive

The festival will be interactive. It will allow for at least a 10-minute discussion on each documentary and queries will be taken up along formats prepared in advance. Interaction with filmmakers, who may not be able to make it to the country, will be via teleconference

There is no entry fee for the audience and passes will be issued at a venue to be decided soon.

Molecules Creations has so far produced documentaries relating to social issues, docudramas, and plays. Some of them are Meetha Zaher, a telefilm on drug addiction directed by P.C. Sorcar for national telecast on DD-1, Education Policy in India, made for DD-1 by Rajesh Joshi, an ad film, Ayushi Fun World, by B. Mudgil, and one under production, Currency/ Current See?! relating to Visa issues, by Suchendra himself.

Films for DD

Rajesh Joshi, Suchendra's associate, moved to Bangalore three years ago. "Largely self-taught, I have made documentaries for Doordarshan on social issues, corporate, and ad films. I have worked with Samachar Bureau and Samachar Track and with Pradeep Nandy on cinematography." He is now involved in filmmaking.

Suchendra, who played the lead in Girish Karnad's Kanooru Heggadithi, has worked with M.S. Sathyu, B.V. Karanth, and the well-known French theatre group Footsbarn. While he has been in theatre for many years now, he has been into filmmaking over the last eight years. "I have acted, produced, directed, written lyrics in theatre as well as cinema. But it is in the last eight years that I have been seriously involved with filmmaking. I have made ad films, corporate films, audio-visuals for television, and documentaries, one of which is on HIV, AIDS. It is with that experience that I and few other friends have volunteered to set up Molecules Creations. The International Film Festival, the first by us, will mean that voices never heard and film-makers who have never had the opportunity to showcase their works might have found one."

Molecules Creations, a 10-member team now, is looking for volunteers and sponsorship to help make the festival successful because "it will showcase the rarest of rare documentaries".

PRASHANTH G.N.

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