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15th Kalpanirjhar International Short fiction film festival 2017
     
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10th Vivada-Kalpanirjhar Annual Lecture
     
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First Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival 2003

The Festival was inaugurated on 05 September 2003 at Max Mueller Bhavan by Mrinal Sen, with Dr Martin Waelde, Director, MMB, Kolkata, Robin Mallick, Director, Dresden International Film Festival, Mr Sanjay Budhia, Managing Director, Patton, addressing the gathering. An interactive panel discussion on 06 September was initiated by filmmaker Jagannath Guha, with inputs from Mrinal Sen, Robin Mallick, Surendar Chaudhary, Professor, Film and TV Institute of India, Pune, writer Dibyendu Palit, and filmmaker Anjan Dutt; going in depth into the problems of creating a market/space for the short fiction film in India.

The First Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival, 2003 came to a close on 10 September 2003, with a valedictory session addressed by, among others filmmakers Raja Dasgupta and Joshy Joseph, and painter Hiran Mitra, sharing with the audience their responses to the films screened at the Festival, and the announcement of the audience choices of the best films of 2001-03, followed by the screening of these films, along with a few ‘surprises’ from the classics of the short fiction film genre.

The Festival steering committee, in its well planned effort to generate more interest in and explore the artistic and commercial potentials of the short fiction film, had made a poll of the audience favourites. At the final count, The Festival Best Selections were:

  • The Shadow (Germany), in Vietnamese, directed by Robin von Hardenberg, produced by the German Film and TV Academy, Berlin (dffb);
  • Passengers (USA), directed by Joseph Todd Walker;
  • Transposed Bodies (Germany), directed by Katja Pratschke, produced by Kunsthochschule für Medien, Cologne;
  • Bombay Summer (India), directed by Raghav Dar, and produced by Film and TV Institute of India, Pune; in that order.

In another set of selections, countrywise, Avchetan, directed by Manisha Dwivedi, and 00:00, directed by Wrik Basu, both second year exercise films from the Film and TV Institute of India, Pune, were chosen as the best from India; with Antaheen, directed by Ganga Mukhi, and Notes on Her, directed by Ajita Suchitraveera, from the same package, narrowly losing out. Transposed Bodies was by far the most popular German film, with its brilliant montage of stills to tell a story with wry black humour. The favourites in the package of US award winners were Flowers, directed by Ron Lazzaretti, who was the Director in Focus for the US bunch; and Speed for Thespians, directed by Kalman Apple.

A rich collection of classics in the genre, screened on the occasion, were naturally kept out of the poll, and included masterpieces like Jiri Trnka's Hand, Fredric Back's The Man Who Planted Trees, Norman McLaren's Neighbours. Jan Mimra's Tower of Babel, Van der Linden's Big City Blues , the Etaix-Carriere Happy Anniversary, Lamorisse's The Red Balloon and White Stallion, Kobakhidze's The Wedding, and Sadykov's Adonis XIV.

The major packages of the festival – US award winners, 2001-03; German Contemporaries, 2001-03; the FTII Retrospective (with early diploma films by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Girish Kasaravalli, Ketan Mehta and Vinod Chopra, and Naseeruddin Shah's acting diploma film directed by Shyam Benegal), and Indian Students’ Films; the Capalbio International Short Film Festival Retrospective; and the Classics and Animated Fiction Revisited; were introduced by Rex Moser; Director, American Centre, Kolkata; Robin Mallick, Director, Dresden International Film Festival; Surendar Chaudhary, Professor, FTII, Pune; filmmaker and Kalpanirjhar Foundation Chairman Gautam Ghose, and Biren Das Sharma, Lecturer, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, respectively. The two international film schools represented by independent packages at the Festival were the German Film and TV Academy, Berlin, and La fémis, Paris. A cross section of filmmakers, painters, and art critcs, and a large crowd of students attended the screening sessions at the MMB and Gorky Sadan. There was extensive media coverage on the local TV channels. A delegation of film students from Maharashtra, under the leadership of their teacher, attended the Festival. K. S. Sasidharan, Director of the National Film Archive of India, was a guest of the Festival.
 
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