From the weather to the humble vada pav, the fifth edition of Dimensions Mumbai, a short-film competition open to young Mumbaikars below 25 years at the Mumbai Film Festival (MFF), had something for everyone.
“It’s great to see Mumbai play muse to filmmakers who are starting out. After all it has so much to offer in terms of inspiration. The trains, the cabs, the crowds and the way the poor are robbed of their humanity as they struggle to live,” said Shoojit Sircar, who headed the jury for this section.
One of the country’s most prolific ad and filmmakers, Sircar is known for his versatility in skilfully handling subjects and concepts, from the stylised to the sensitive, from the more humane to the technological, while catering to both Indian and international sensibilities.
Filmmaker Ravi Jadhav of Balak Palak fame, who is also on the jury, too, was all praise for the young filmmakers who, he said, awed. “There is so much good talent out there. This is a great platform since it gives the youth an exposure to the festival and seeing your work on the big screen can be awesome. I still remember weeping when I saw my first film on screen.”
Rajkumar Yadav, who is basking in the acclaim from his latest film Shahid, said, “I think it’s great for filmmakers. I know about struggle and anyone who encourages you during that phase can feel so good. Some of the stuff was so good that it left me stunned to think that this was made by beginners.”
Screenwriter-lyricist Niranjan Iyengar, best known for his dialogues in producer-director Karan Johar’s, Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) to Student of the Year (2012), hoped the young filmmakers kept working on their craft. “If this is what they are doing now, it is exciting to think of what they can achieve with more training and exposure.”
A brainchild of Mumbai Association of Moving Images (MAMI) trustee Jaya Bachchan, Dimensions Mumbai was introduced to mark the association’s 10th anniversary. The idea was to provide a platform to young students and professionals to showcase their talent. Short films of less than five minutes and of any format, depicting any aspect of life in Mumbai, are screened in the competition.