COMPETITION SHORT FICTION
A Temperate State/ Samasheethoshnaavastha
The film revolves around Vinod who helps his friend who deals in the illegal snake venom business. While extracting venom Vinod becomes careless and starts doubting whether the venom has fallen into his wounded finger. Fear of death slowly creeps into him and he starts to question his lifestyle.
Accord / Nirnay
A boy shares a beautiful bond with his sister. He observes that people around him, his own parents and society are set against his sister’s wish to be with a boy she loves. While the society decides to kill her in the name of honour, he sets her free with a lesser pain. The decision taken by little Nirnay decides the fate of their brother-sister relationship as well. The film is a psycho-realistic exploration into human minds set against the backdrop of a casteist and misogynistic world.
The film tells the story of a metropolitan couple who grow distant from each other due to their schedules. In the face of his physical needs the husband decides to call in an escort. The film looks at how the encounter with the escort proves a turning point in the man’s life.
The film is a narrativization of how a casual conversation between a young man and a middle-aged man in a bar unravels a peculiar connection between them.
Thirteen-year-old Bhoomi and her father, a travelling film projectionist, are on their way back from a traditional temple ceremony. Being quite late in the night, they are offered shelter and lift, by a passing police patrol jeep. The police station where they decide to spend their few hours until dawn is abuzz with activity. Occupying the lockup is a rapist and several other petty criminals. The film explores how Bhoomi, the sole girl in this male dominated space makes sense of it.
The film consists of three separate stories, five lives and one fish. The first story is that of an old woman who is waiting for her son to return home. The second story is about an estranged couple on the verge of separation and their last day together. The third story is about a homeless junkie rag picker and his sudden friendship with a kid. All the three stories are connected through a small fish. The film explores their relationships through emotions of loss, grief and suffering
Lata who is 65 lives alone in her ancestral house in the small village of Malavli in the Western Ghats. Surrounded by hills on all sides, Lata’s house breathes into a forest. The winter festival of Sankranthi arrives. Lata is close to a young boy Mohan, who works in her house. Mohan wants to leave the village for the city in search of better work. Kavita, a young tribal girl comes to learn English from Lata. The film explores the dilemma Lata faces as Mohan falls in love with Kavita.
Dawn / Seher
Seher takes you on a journey with Rubina, a young girl from the underbelly of Mumbai who boards a taxi driven by Usmaan, a pleasant old man with a warm demeanour. What seems like a normal cab ride in the chill of the night turns out to be a night with a plan in store for both. Seher explores the story of a girl who rises above limits, doubts, fear of the self and the society proving that the seed of liberation is hope.
The desert is his world and the donkey, his companion. The film explores the emergence of the true dynamics of this relationship as this companion; who he constantly cribs about and to, goes missing.
Gadhedo is based on a folk story from Rajasthan, India; set in a small village that is stuck in time. The story unfolds the satirical journey of Goru; a naive washer man, who believes that Maatsa; the only teacher in the village, will be able to turn his donkey into a man.
Set in an unspecified time and space, the film’s protagonist seems to be the only living person in a completely devastated city. He goes about struggling his way, negotiating the tough settings and trying to survive. When on one fine day out of nowhere, he happens to meet another person. Interestingly this person looks exactly like him
Everything is Fine / Sab Theek Hai
The film is knitted around an ageing mother who wants to leave her patriarchal marriage and a daughter who finds it hard to come to term with her mother’s desire. The daughter has a slow change of heart but it might be too little too late.
Gi is about a grandfather and his grandchild who are dealing with two different realities while co-existing in the same space. Appachan (grandfather) is losing some memories and delving into worlds Gi is unfamiliar with. She, on the other hand, is trying to come to terms with the world around her, her lover and her work. All of which seems hostile to her.
Ice Cream / Malai
The film follows a poor rural boy who goes to a big wedding, eager to have a grand meal, especially ice-cream locally called ‘Malai’. The film looks at how the Great Indian Wedding and its participants react to the boy’s innocent desire. Positing questions about the society’s progress an orientation
Last Rites / Shesh Krityo
Without an Aadhar Card, the hospital refuses to hand over Deepak’s dead body to his son Rajat. Late Deepak, a 90-year-old villager was not an Aadhar holder. A helpless Rajat is stranded at the hospital when he finds an Aadhar agent Irfan. The film explores how desperation leads him into a roller coaster ride.
Probably / Sambhavtaha
The government is acquiring thousands of hectares of farmland to build a highway. Farmers are questioning the necessity of the act. Most of them agitate quietly while some threaten to commit suicide. The film tells the tale of a farmer Vinoba, who decides to take an extreme step which does not involve taking his own life.
Ranthal is a period drama set during the emergency. Its plot revolves around a policeman, a thief and a prostitute.
Religion for Dummies
The film is about a famished beggar on the streets who turns into a conman; drawing inspiration from a religious mendicant who lured individuals into giving him money in exchange for blessing.
Songs of Melancholy / Oppari
A mother and a wife mourn the death of the family man. A few days after the funeral, a conversation opens up between the two women enabling them to form a connection. Rituals and remembrances dovetail into a story of humanity.
The film is about a young divorced woman Sana, who rents an apartment in Mumbai hoping for a new independent life. But instead, she finds herself caught up in a maze of peculiar occurrences. Her attempt to unearth the mystery makes her run into a society that has insulated itself. A society that has become rigid with fear by serving the powerful.
The Idiot / Murakh
The film is about how Abdul, an illiterate man from rural India, feels like he has no choice but to hijack a domestic flight and redirect it to Australia as he is denied visa. Inspired by actual events, this satire exposes the bigotry of a society fed on religious stereotypes and paranoia
The Journey / Safar
Safar is a story about a young boy who has to undergo immense difficulties in his life due to poverty that is added onto by his drunkard father who gets in an accident and loses his job.
The Lord / Dor
The film is about Paras and Vaidehi, a happily married couple, and how their life takes a turn as Vaidehi loses their child after being raped while expecting.
The Right Side / Jamani Baju
The film is about a young college going couple, Arjun Saxena and Noor Alam, on their way back home after a late-night party running into an unnerving encounter with an eerie auto driver.
The Sea / Samudra
The film is about two young girls who rent a room in a hotel to shoot an intimate video in order to make a quick buck to pay for something illegal.
Till the Story Ends / Katha Theeruvolam
The film is about a sex worker mother who takes her four-year old son with her to hotels while she works. She usually locks him inside the bathroom giving him three ice-creams to spend time with. The film looks into one such day where she and her customers in a sudden turn of events get arrested by the police while the boy is locked inside the bathroom.
Uncalled / Anahut
Anahut is about a Good Samaritan doctor who decides to educate teenagers about health and sex even in the face of scepticism meted out by various authorities and individuals. The film posits questions about the society’s role in a better and healthier tomorrow.
Water / Neer
The film tells the tale of a melancholic man affected by the perplexity of life and death, in the middle of a deal to sell off his ancestral place in Varanasi in order to return back to the United States for good. The night before the date of his departure, he’s given a bag of food by a sadhu (a holy man) to feed a hungry soul.
FOCUS SHORT FICTION
Body Ethereal / Daehantharam
Daehantharam is the story of a man who tries to hang on to his life even as death beckons. The movie explores the father-son relationship with all its complexities in an unusual way. The film looks at euthanasia, care, love and violence inherent in our genes. All these ideas and much more are discussed with a pinch of humour, whilst exploring the underlying dynamics of three generations.
The film is about a day in the life of a poor village woman, whose son raped her daughter.
This short film is about a child’s cramped childhood in a medium town and how she decides to compromise with the socio-familial conditions. Like any other child her age she also likes a toy. The film is a light-hearted story about childhood and old age that reminds us about the importance of enjoying the little happy moments in life, despite all the other problems in one’s life.
The film is about the art of cooking the perfect ‘Kuzhimanthi’, a dish from Middle East which gained currency in Kerala recent years.
Midnight Run is a realistic thriller that takes place over the span of one single night. It revolves around a young boy from a scrap yard hitching a ride with a trucker. And the turn of events that follows forms the narrative.
On the Way
The film revolves around Jayaseelan, a cunning insurance officer, who hitches a ride with a stranger after his vehicle breaks down. It follows their conversation about life, success and the journey.
The film looks at how beyond the beautiful landscape and the overall cultural progress, our villages even in urban areas are steeped in curious beliefs and rituals. Padinjatta is an imaginative retrospective on one such custom. The film is about a custom where people offer foods to the forefathers, whenever they are celebrating occasions like marriages and festivals like Onam and Vishu in their homes; in the northern parts of Kerala.
Prakash revolves around the story of a girl who is forced to manipulate the truth. Ananya, a young and spirited girl is left with no choice but to resort to taking some hard steps to take some burden off her ailing mother. What follows is a story of a mother’s care and a daughter’s love. The film was inspired from a series of true events.
Second Prize / Randaan Sammanam
Charlie a school kid wins the second prize for a lucky coupon he sold out to Manikandan, a canteen worker in his boarding school. Charlie comes back to the school after his Christmas holidays to the news of Manikandan’s suicide. The film is an enquiry into the reasons for Manikandan’s death; which mostly points towards an issue with his wife. This opens up a plethora of dilemmas for the child. The narrative revolves around how Charlie deals with those confusions.
Sohna… A Flying Kid
The film is about an 11-12-year-old village boy from Unnao district of North India belonging to the Dhanuk community; a Dalit community in the northern-belt, and his desire for a pair of canvas shoes.
Taste Alternate / Ruchibedham
The film is a slice of life drama between two sisters who find themselves at odd with each other whilst making their mother’s recipe of mambazha pulissery.
The Body / Kaya
Is it possible to envision an alternative to our fragmented and alienating reality? Kaya dares to imagine the connections and fullness of experience that transcends bodies, matter, time and space through Siddharth. An ordinary man Siddharth embarks on a journey, at once grave and light-hearted, of becoming the other. Inviting you on a surreal journey, Kaya explores Siddharth’s transformative quest, which is emotional as well as detached and which has neither beginning nor end.
The Gooseberry in her Palm / Ullangai Nellikkani
The film is about a quietly observant librarian who strikes up a conversation with a diligent student who appears in need of a kind ear to listen to her romantic woes.
The Outsider / Quiro
Set against the mountainous terrain and misty landscape, the film is about the contemplative return of a man to his village after a decade.
The film is set in a small village in Kerala and revolves around the contemporary political realities in that space.
When the Mankind was Alike / Maanusharellarumonnupole
As a culmination to the Onam celebrations of the year with the Pulikkali in Thrissur, a youth wishes to adorn the attire of puli. The film looks at his harrowing experience with the contemporary Malayali attitude of hatred and selfishness and how it proves a turning point in his life forms the crux of the story.
You / Tu
The film tells the tale of a mixed-faith couple finding ways to keep their relationship alive, while they struggle to make sense of an increasingly intolerant world. It sees Supriya and Murtuza meeting in a borrowed room to have a conversation that seems to float between heady unconcerned intimacy and concerns of the real world. However, over the course of the evening they realize that the world they are trying to keep out will not remain outside.
The film is about a girl who happens to help a stranger and how the event moulds her character.