8th Cut.In Students’ Film Festival Report
The 8th Cut.In Students’ Film Festival was held on December 21 and 22, 2015. This festival received 113 entries from students of diploma, graduate and post graduate programmes in film and media institutions across India. The jury members for the festival were Anjali Monteiro, Renu Savant and K. P. Jayasankar.
The students of the School premiered a series of five films entitled, A Roof of One’s Own (Ek Chhat ki Talaash Mein) that explores the issues of housing and shelter in Mumbai. The five films explore a range of themes, including the housing and real estate bubble, the marginalisation of the Adivasis who live in Aarey Milk Colony, the struggles of those who live in ‘slums’ and in transit housing, the other side of redevelopment, the lives of those who make their home on Chowpatty beach and the experiences of transgendered people in search of shelter.
Professor Anne Rutherford delivered the inaugural address and acclaimed filmmaker Jahnu Barua was chief guest for the award ceremony. The jury and the chief guests were very impressed by the quality and content of the student films.
We would like to thank the Jamsetji Tata Trust for their continued support to Cut.In and other programmes of the School of Media and Cultural Studies.
We thank the MurthyNAYAK Foundation for their support to the 8th Cut.In Students’ Film Festival.
Read the transcript of Prof. Anne Rutherford’s inaugural address here.
The Jury Report:
The jury was delighted to engage with a crop of interesting and innovative films, some of which attempt to break new cinematic ground. The range of themes, narrative strategies and languages that the films represent are fresh, diverse and truly commendable. This year, both documentaries and short fiction films are of a high quality, many with excellent production values and engaging ways of telling stories. In addition to these criteria we also gave weightage to the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of the work we saw. While the award-winning films stand out for their many-layered, complex, yet at times minimal ways of seeing and the modes in which they attempt to extend the boundaries of the possible, there were several other films that were also note-worthy in this regard. We are grateful for this opportunity to watch and analyse a compelling body of work and wish all the filmmakers and technical teams involved in the production of these films the very best in their future endeavours. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future. Congratulations to all the participants and award winners.
Cut.In Awards and Jury Citation:
Gold Jalasayanam for its creation of narrative tension, through carefully constructed and affective mise-en-scene.
Silver Zar Zameen aur Zaan for its poetic treatment of the stark beauty of Kachchh.
Gold Kamakshi for its creative soundscape that adds layers to the imagination of its narrative.
Silver Chaver for its subtle, well grounded and restrained treatment of a spectacular canvas of story telling.
Gold Jalasayanam for taut cinematic energy that deepens the sense of violence and brings out the troubled relationships between the characters in the film.
Silver Shifting Tides for its visual rhythm and pace, which allows the narrative thread to unfold gracefully.
Gold E-thil for its effortless and nuanced story telling , its cinematic energy, that brings to life a milieu and a political landscape that is seldom explored.
Silver Kotha for its gentle and poignant look at a middle class household, in ways that render the everyday in warm and engaging tones.
Special Mention Sadabahar Brass Band for evocatively recreating the spaces and times of a marginal world that is fast fading.
Gold: 8 Rooms and 9 Doors for its unflinching exploration of the rituals surrounding death in the contemporary world and its relationship with caste hierarchies.
Silver: Alpajeevi for its lyrical and unusual treatment of the ways in which the protagonists of the film negotiate the transience of home and location.
Special mention Shifting Tides for its rhythmic and affective portrayal of the world of the Maldharis of Kachchh.
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