Alpavirama, which means comma in Sanskrit, is Asian Short and Documentary film festival which focuses on providing a cross-cultural experience to all its participants. The festival is taking place since 2011, at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and it has till now collaborated with Film South Asia Nepal, The Yangon film school, Beskop Tsechu Bhutan, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and various other International biennial festivals.
Alpavirama 2016 is a cluster of various moving picture production activities, where participants, who are under the age of 30 and from Asian and South Asian countries like Bangladesh, India, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, will mobilize at NID from October 4, 2016 to October 8, 2016 and celebrate the craft of cinema. This is a fantastic opportunity for cinema aficionados to indulge in some precious short film viewing. Mr. Arun Gupta, the principal faculty of Department of Film & Video Communication of NID is the Festival Director and curator for this whole extravaganza.
As Sherlock Holmes quoted sententiously “To a great mind nothing is little.” And the Short Films at Alpvirama 2016 promises to be a cinematic experience that is deeply personal and profoundly moving.
The festival will be screening close to 70 films during the course of its 5-day duration. The screenings are spread over six different categories. The most exciting are the Competition category where 18 short fiction films and 16 short documentaries from various Asian and South Asian countries will be screened and adjudged for the ‘Golden & Silver Commas’. This apart the festival has a non-competitive section showcasing films that have a focus on Asia. Apart from these two main categories selections from NID Film & Video Retrospective, Tribute to Vasakh Film Festival (Pakistan), Tribute to Film South Asia (Nepal) and Looking China Package is also part of the 5-day screening marathon. It will be then prolonged by a one of its kind Lifetime Achievement Award, which includes a Trophy and Cash Award, sponsored by the alumnus of the film and video department of NID and will be dedicated to a full-time film faculty from South Asia. The last day of the event is dedicated to learning sessions where in through Master Class on editing the documentary and Seminar about video on the edge (new experiments in moving image), aspirants can hone their vision and skills.
Within this digital age, people are already exhausted with an extreme lack of time. An era when everything is just a finger touch away and within fractions of seconds things transform, people’s expressions are getting cropped, personalities are divergent and actions are more intense than what our antecedents had. Thanks to the smart phones, now an average human attention span has deteriorated even in comparison of a goldfish. So rather than entertaining a full-length mainstream feature film of 2-3 hours, people and even movie makers are highly inclined towards developing offbeat short films. The crop concept cinema is actually reaching to the maximum number of audience through social media and resulting in a sensation by piercing every house, personal computer, and smart phone. The apparatus used during a production of a short film is minimalistic, behind the scenes staff is lesser, and even the budget is miniature. More importantly, this genre gives the young storytellers a viable opening to express themselves and bring out unheard subjects on film.
Due to its very nature, this genre of filmmaking has an intrinsic honesty built into it. And when the young mind turns to be the story teller, the resulting cinema becomes a moving document of life as perceived today. The other significant aspect of the Alpvirama is that it focuses on a certain region, and so holistically as a festival, it has the potential to become the doorway to the South Asian and Asian milieu. Many of this films may not even reach to the social media friendly audiences and hence Alpvirama 2016 has to be on the must-visit list of every cinema lover.
It is definitely a moment of pride for the city to have such a transmogrifying event at its doorstep; and what better opportunity for discretionary Amdavadis to be at the Eden of design, that is National Institute of Design.
The event shall take place at NID’s main campus in Paldi. Find below the schedule of the screenings.
Images @ Schedule Courtesy : NID
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