Main Theatre (A Letter to Abbas Kiarostami)

The film explores a statement made by the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami in a very candid interview- "I prefer the films that put the audience to sleep in the theatre. I think those films are kind enough to allow you a nice nap and not leave you disturbed when you leave. Some films have made me doze off in the theatre, but the same films have made me stay up at night and wake up thinking about them in the morning, and then for weeks."

The film establishes the relationship of the audience, the projectionist and the film that is being screened. The audience is being filmed while the film is being projected, while all the nuances of the film projection mechanism can be seen.

The film also explores the theme of isolation. The film within the film explores how learning to live with yourself is a necessary step in the development of the self, and thus a key to happiness. One of the members of the audience wakes up to register this. The projectionist too is seen working in isolation, and getting involved with the plot of the film being screened.

Does sleep disrupt or fuel imagination? Do thoughts flow from dreams, or are they a product of deep meditation? Many such questions will flow through a mind that explores the complex relationship between sleep and the imagination, and that is something this film seeks to explore.

Maruts

Vishal K Dar's art practice is diverse in terms of medium, where transformations and the nocturne are some of the more visible themes. In Maruts*, the artist continues his investigations with site-specific works that create experience territories and hallucinatory zones.

Chance of a Lifetime

Hyde Park-Image Nation, The United Nations Organization (UN), the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, and Variety Magazine collaborated to produce a non-scripted TV series titled Chance of a Lifetime hosted by internationally renowned award-winning producer Ashok Amritraj.

Twelve promising young filmmakers from the United Arab Emirates, India, and Singapore were divided into teams and worked together to survive various film making tasks and ultimately make a winning 10-minute short film. Sagar Shiriskar was one of the three filmmakers who was chosen from India. His team comprised of three contestants, one from each region, and drew on varied cultural perspectives while sharing a singular vision. Sagar and his team had to make films on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). At every stage, they were given a topic to make a film on one of the MDG’s. In all they were given three days to conceptualise, shoot and edit each of the films.

Sagar’s team was the one to come out on top after three rounds of relentless filmmaking. They made 3 films in the course of the show—each focused on social problems like Access to Water, Climate Change and Universal Education. The topics and tone of each film reflected the UN’s priority global causes. Through compelling film making, the contestants aimed to shine a spotlight on the issues.

Sagar along with his winning team was flown to New York City where their winning short films were screened at the United Nations headquarters as they interacted with representatives of member countries at the United Nations, after which they were flown to receive a special recognition from Hollywood’s Variety Magazine during the 2013 Festival de Cannes. The series has then been aired on Pivot on US television and National Geographic in Abu Dhabi.

The Boy and the Parrot

The Boy and the Parrot is a story about a boy who had a parrot as a pet. He loved him very much and would often invite his friends over so that they could all play with it. He would feed his pet all its favorite food, like chillies and guavas, until one day when his father freed the parrot of its cage. The boy cried but couldn't stop his father.

Missing his special friend a lot, the boy could think of little else. One day he went to the market in search of a helium balloon. On locating the balloon seller he bought one, but no sooner had he held it than it escaped from his grip and floated away. He discovered he that he didn't have money to buy another balloon, but as he turned away, disappointed, the balloon seller called out to him and handed him another one.

Coming back home the boy sat down and wrote a letter to the parrot, his friend. He then attached this letter to the balloon he had bought and walking up to the window where he had last seen his friend, he let it float up and away.