National and international awards, and coveted selections at the most prestigious film festivals of the world are quite a regular feature of SRFTI’s achievement graph. Take a quick tour of the archive of accolades SRFTI has received so far.
SRFTI is credited with the unique distinction of being selected for participation in CANNES FILM FESTIVAL consecutively for 4 years in the cine fondation category.
Direction: Christo Tomy
In the 90’s in a convent in Kerala, Sister Philomena is seriously ill while all the others are preparing for the anniversary of the convent school. Sister Nirmala who looks after sister Philomina is assigned to be with the actress Urvasi, the chief guest for the function. Sister Nirmala’s happiness has no bounds as it the same actress she has a deep fascination for, which the rest of the convent is not aware of. Things take a decisive turn when, on the day of the anniversary sister Nirmala is asked to stay back and look after Sister Philomina whose condition has unexpectedly deteriorated.
Awards: Christo Tomy (Jury Special Mention Fiction up to 10 mins, NSFA 2014) Christo Tomy (Best Debut Film Of A Director, 61st National Film Awards, 2013)
Direction: Dominic MegamSangma
“No tribe has triumphed without a poet and no poet has triumphed without his tribe” – Mahmoud Darwish Through Ianche, a Garo poet, the film tries to understand what it feels to be a poet without a written Language. Once this saddening truth is felt and understood in its entirety can you write again? The Garos(a tribe from Meghalaya) have their own language but no script to write and hence they have been using the English alphabet for centuries now. Ianche, an accomplished poet finds himself tormented and unable and unwilling to write anymore. He can see his people completely abandoning their rich culture and he believes that the only way to save himself and them is to author a script.
Awards:Dominic MegamSangma (Best Film Fiction 10 mins – 30 Mins., NSFA, 2014)
Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan
Director: Mithila Hegde
“My routine is Namaz and Art, Namaz and Art, Namaz and Art…”says Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan. At 105, he is the oldest living (and practicing) Hindustani vocalist in the country. The film portrays his profound perspective on music, spirituality and life.
Awards:Mithila Hegde (Best Film Non Fiction up to 30 mins, NSFA, 2014) Arka Ghosh (Best Sound Design Non Fiction (up to 30 mins), NSFA, 2014)
Direction: Kim Jung Hyun
An old man finds out a strange marble while he is dozing off in his living room.
Awards:Kim Jung Hyun (Best Film Fiction up to 10 mins, NSFA, 2014)
Mokama Fast Passenger
Direction: Subhadro Chowdhury
Mohan is a labour contractor, who works for a construction company. He shares a relation with Sabita in the city. On the contrary, Rakhi and her father-in-law waits in the village for Mohan to return. Occasional money order comes but Mohan doesn’t return. Rakhi finds escapade from her daily mundane life, when she goes to feed Jogi, a truck driver. They share a silent relation. One day, Mohan plans to leave the city. He catches a train to his village.
Awards: Yagyapriya Gautam (Best Editing Fiction 10 mins – 30 Mins., NSFA, 2014)
Between The Rains
Direction: Samimitra Das
The story is about the city, where people from all parts of the country come in search of work and embark on their own individual journeys. Priorities and choices we make as individuals under circumstances make us who we are. Honesty has an opportunity cost and our stakes get defined by it. All the characters in the film at different stages of breaking out from their compartmentalized identities that society forces upon them. Some individuals stay inside and revolt by being indifferent and ignoring the need to make a choice which affects the other person. They end up staying in their own little islands. While others, take a higher risk, put more at stake, faith in a chance encounter and having the belief that they will connect with each other.
Awards: Rashmima Dutta (Best Editing short fiction above 10 mins., NSFA)
Direction: Rohitaswa Mukherjee
“DAAK NOUKA” is a fairytale film about a small coastal village and the people living there. It is a linear documentation of their day to day monotonous life with the help of a few subtle abstractions. Every character of this fairytale gives birth to freedom to their internal desire …and life goes on.
Awards: Rohitaswa Mukherjee (Best Script, NSFA)
Direction: Shakeel Mohammad
This story is about a boxer Hatim who like his failed father is on the verge of losing it all. He is in debt, he is losing his matches and has stopped communicating with his wife. He struggles with the guilt and the agony of having lost his father. Doyam in Urdu, means “second”. But is it second failure or second chance?
Awards: Sudipto Mukhopadhyay (Best Sound Design short fiction above 10 mins., NSFA)
Song Of The Butterflies
Direction: Torsha Banerjee
In a world bustling with lights and colors , a small blind school, situated in a remote village of Eastern India, is striving with a different spasm for life. It’s a story of an organic relationship between a space and a few blind characters. Adoori, a small ten year old girl shows her boxes full of earrings and bangles , her new clothes… and lives with the belief that ‘ I am beautiful’, whereas Hasibullah, a 7 year old boy imitates the sounds arounds him and connects the world with his own symphony. Yasin , Tabassum , Shumon , Gautam… Each character comes with a unique story to tell and flows with the rapturous mood of the film. This documentary is a glimpse of the conversations, rolling between a few unlit eyes and an unknown space.
Awards: Torsha Banerjee (Jury Special Mention, NSFA)
Birds Of Passage
Direction : Ashim Paul
Both of them were alienated Then they met . They spoke to each other. They shared personal memories. Hesitation created distances between them. Both of them fought their own emotions. Gradually, they became good friends. Was it really supposed to happen? Where has their feminine ego gone?
Awards: Anil Pingua (Best Student Cinematographer Award Of The Year, Kodak)
Direction: Mohan Kumar Valasala
The permanence of elements defines the basic character of any space. A space may have a tendency towards being incoherent for the average human perception.For everyday inhabitants the seemingly uninhabitable space becomes in contrast , a part of their accustomed daily life. The presence of elements coupled with the routine of the inhabitants from the crux of ‘Panchabhuta’.
Awards: Mohan Kumar Valasala (Jury Special Mention)
Sita Haran Aur Anya Kahaniyan
Direction: Anusha Nandakumar
This is a short experimental film of a storyteller and his world of stories. When his daughter dies, he loses his motivation to tell his stories and the character in his stories starts taking over. He lives in an illusionary world where he is unable to distinguish between his characters anymore, and gets stuck between reality and fiction.
Awards: Anusha Nandakumar (Best Music Video, I D S F F, Kerala)
Direction: Venkat S Amudhan
Life is programmed from events happening around one’s surroundings where nothing is right or wrong but things just move on relentlessly. Firoz’s life revolves around his work in the café. It is in this café that an event becomes a part of Firoz. What happens in the end and who is at the receiving end is not as important as the impact it creates on Firoz as he witnesses life around him ‘lived’, which is what ‘Thug Beram’ is about.
Awards: Venkat S Amudhan (Sonje Award 16th Busan International Film Festival)
Best Film Short fiction upto 10 mins. National Students’ Film Award
Dir: Shumona Banerjee
Can hope be found in the most unusual places among the most unlikely characters? A young women transvestite prostitute, Kusum, locked up in her room, gears up for a regular night like any other. Just then enters Purab, an out of job English literature teacher suffering from Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive behavior. Without a clue of the local language, he spents his meager savings to spend one night with a girl and finds himself stuck with a boy! Both can’t understnd what the other is saying. All hell breaks loose! Will these two people, manage a connection? Perhaps like a flowerbud bursting through a crack in the wall, an unexpected begining will see them through.
Awards: Shumona Banerjee
The Boxing Ladies
Direction: Anusha Nandakumar
Camera: Rahul Deep Balchandran
Zainab, Bushra, and Sughra are sisters. They are muslim and they are national level boxers. ‘The Boxing Ladies’ is a story of this incredible family of women, of their strong will to survive in society and make a mark.
Awards: Anusha Nandakumar (Rajat Kamal, Best film on Sports, 58th National Film
Direction: Snehal Nair
This is a story of a boy who is afflicted by cancer and makes an album of black and white passport picture that he found as a child. His brother is a filmmaker and he sees this book. Inspired after watching the pictures, he begins to collect pictures of the metropolis where they live, observing the changing horizon of the city.
Awards: Snehal Nair (Swarna Kamal, best Non Feature Film in the 58th National Film Award)
Direction: Srinath Ravulapalli
A mentally challenged middle-aged woman living on the Kolkata streets meets man, similar to herself in many ways on a rainy night. After the initial refusals towards courtship from the women, stubborn and intense, the man succeeds in winning the woman’s company and friendship. Soon the sociopolitical developments in the city affects their relationship and lead to their separation. Alone and impassionate, the woman moves to deserted fields in the outskirts and find solace in the loneliness. The man returns and searches for the woman. When he eventually meets her, he realizes that things are not same, leading to a tragic end
Awards: R.Srinath (Best Film, Bonjour India Festival)
My Armenian Neighborhood
Direction: Samimitra Das
The documentary takes a look at the Armenian community in Kolkata, The Americans had arrived much before the city had its name. They are credited with having built the oldest building of the city, apart from having a unique identity of their own.
Awards: K.Apalla Swamy (Best cinematographer 3rd I D S F F, Kerala)
Direction: Shweta Merchant
Camera: Harindar Singh
Shweta Merchant was at her wit’s end when her chosen child actor came down with fever on the day of the shoot. It was monsoon and then, by a lucky chance, she found’ the sweetest girl who fitted well in the film’ just fifteen minutes before call time. Lal Juto is about the first stirrings of romance in a fifteen-year-old boy’s heart for his otherwise annoying fourteen-year-old neighbor, the serendipitous moment of discovering the child actor fell in line with the theme of the story.
Awards: Sweta Marchent (Best creative idea, 11th Shanghai International Film Festival.)
Direction: Tridib Poddar
A man goes looking for his friend who has been missing for ten years. His friends mother lives alone with memories in their house. In search of the friend our protagonist travels through a wide spectrum of life – he meets people, he meets mountains, rivers. What exactly happens with his psyche is what we experience through the visual story telling.
Awards: Tridib Poddar (IDPA Award (Best first film) /MIFF)
Tridib Poddar (Best Director BFJ Award)
This is the story of a writer who lives in Kolkata. He was married. One day his wife deserts him. Now he is suffers from writer’s block, unable to write anything. He stays in an old house in the country, with an elderly woman… a widow away from the city. The incessant mating calls of the cuckoo disturbs him. He cannot stand the sweetness of it’s tone. On one such afternoon, an old friend Shanti comes looking for him. Shanti narrates talk of ideal love that he happened to witness between a young couple they both knew in the course of this discussion, it is revealed that Shanti has lost his wife just the day before. Shanti did not bother to go and attend her funeral. Is he sad? Sundar Jeebon is the unpleasant taste of beauty.
Awards: Sandip Chatterjee (Best Short Fiction, National Award,2003)
Abhiman Band Party
Direction: Siladitya Sanyal
Tapas clings to a tacky band party business, acquired from his late father. Tapas hates Monoj (his mother’s lover). Inspite of mother’s dislike for dogs, Tapas decides to bring home an Alsatian puppy. He confides in Shanti (sister in law) and borrows some money from her to buy the puppy. His visit to Decampo’s house to get the puppy leaves him in trepidation. Back home, the sudden discovery of the physical proximity between mother and Monoj exacerbates him. Frustrated he flings himself back to his only recluse – Shanti. An unexpected chain of coincidences truncates the futile exuberance to master fate. Tapas lies to Shanti about the accident her husband meets. And both of them are bound by passion and desire. Mother and Monoj decide to marry the next morning at Kalighat on the day of Rashlila. A celebration follows… Tapas shows his contempt… The eternal questions of love, passion and desire get readdressed through the film.
Awards: Siladitya Sanyal (Best Short Film BFJ Award)
The Egotic World
Direction: Vipin Vijay
The film is inspired by the scriptural text of ‘ Yoga Vasistham’ which explains the unfolding mystery of the life of Lord Rama. The film depicts the tale of a boy entrapped inside a ‘zone’ from which he escapes temporarily only to return and find himself elevated from the worldly pleasures. He rejects liberation and ‘merges’ into the ‘black’ bearing the sorrow of the future.
Awards: Milind Nagamule (Best Student Film in Kodak Students Festival (India))
Direction: Ritubarna Chudgar
Brother and sister live in a unfriendly city. They suffer abject poverty. In the day-to-day existence, they are constantly insulted and humiliated. Poor and unhappy, they try to recall the days when they were glad and contended. This takes them to the old house they once lived, in the suburbs. Apart from an old man living, the house is deserted. The old man allows them to spend a night there. They went there to feel happy amidst their memories, but the past has something else in store.
Awards: Ritubarna Chudgar (Best Short Fiction Film, National Film Award, 2001)
Direction: Anjalika Sharma
The film is about two girls. Meena and Ayesha are teenagers who study in a convent school. They are grown together even though their dreams, realities and social setup are totally different from each other. Calcutta is the backdrop of this unlikely relationship. The girl struggle to live out the first adult relationship of their lives. Ayesha is easily bored and looks for constant stimulation. She likes to live in a dream world, nightmares even. In Meena, she finds a listener one who believes all her tales blindly, one who dreams and lives through her stories. The film is a collage of shared experiences, memories, dreams and realities, held together by an un-predictable non-linear structure
Awards: Anjalika Sharma (Best Debut Film of the Director, National Film Award, 2001)
Amal Neerad C. R. (Special Mention for 48th National Film Awards)