‘Shorts’ pioneer aims to make Jamshedpur filmmaking hub

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Film making and training workshops must to enhance filmmaking prowess

Jharkhand govt should support filmmaking: Tathagata Bhattacherjee

By Manpreet Singh Bhatia

Jamshedpur: Shorts – the annual short film festival of Jamshedpur is in its 11th year. With the starting of a new decade new aspirations are on the mind of pioneer of the short film festival which started back in 2008.

Acclaimed director and the brain behind ‘Shorts’, Tathagata Bhattacherjee, has plans in mind to make Jamshedpur a filmmaking hub provided he gets the support of the state government and corporate houses.

“Through Shorts we continue to promote, enhance and encourage film makers of the Steel City but that won’t be enough for the budding film makers to get a taste of the professional director”, said Tathagata Bhattacherjee, CEO of Kolkata based Take5 Communications.

Jamshedpur-based SPPE (Society for Promotion of Professional Excellence), Tata Steel and Take5 Communications have been holding the annual Short film festivals in Jamshedpur since 2008.

Talking to this newspaper, Bhattacherjee said, “Jamshedpur has a lot of potential but technically the filmmakers are lagging behind due to absence of technologically advanced equipments, film making and training workshops. Tata Steel has been providing the support but the state government should assist and help develop film institutes.”

He praised the film policy of Jharkhand and said more needs to be done to enhance filmmaking in the city.

“Regular film making and training workshops should be held so that budding film makers can get a platform and effective training to face the real world”, added Bhattacherjee who has been a professional film maker since 1994.

This year ‘Shorts’ will be held on 24 and 25 November and Tathagata is keen to take the annual event to a new level.

Tathagata opined, “Film festival should not be limited to screening but more should be done so that aspiring film makers can learn from the workshops. Awareness sessions should also be held for parents where they can be informed about this bright career option so that their kids can take this as a full-fledged career choice. In small cities, there are people who still think that a filmmaking and acting are taboo and hence are not good career options.”

Tathagata Bhattacherjee grew up in Jamshedpur and completed his schooling from DBMS English School.

“I want to thank the city where I have grown up and received my basic education and this is the reason ‘Shorts’ is still a non-competitive film festival so that all can learn from each other’s work and go through creative excellence. Shorts has given and will continue to honour filmmakers as it is a social initiative and not for commercial benefit,” added the filmmaker who received much accolades for his Bengali films Antarghaat, Seven Days and Astra.

Tathagata Bhattacherjee who has made several feature films, television films, ads, corporate films and short films, says, “We never got a platform for showcasing our work during learning days but since the beginning of a new millennium a gateway opened and after 2000 short films gathered momentum in India. I thought of doing something for the people of Jamshedpur who till 2008 were deprived of a short film festival and an idea was conceived when we approached Tata Steel and to our pleasant they collaborated with us and since then ‘Shorts’ has become an annual affair and has provided platform to several budding filmmakers who now have become professionals”.

He went on to say that Tata Steel and the then Chief of Centre For Excellence (CFE) Jenny Shah helped in making the festival a success and the current chief of CFE, Merlyn Anklesaria is providing total cooperation and support to keep this movement on infinite course.

When asked about the positive impact of Shorts over the years, Tathagata said, “The idea of Shorts has been successful as the main purpose of the fest was to provide a platform to budding filmmakers of Jharkhand and I am happy that many promising filmmakers have made a name for themselves.

Karim City College and DBMS English School supported in making the fest successful and the momentum is on. ‘Shorts’ has also provided opportunity to students to make offbeat career choices and those who are creative are taking this head on. Because of Shorts other short film festivals have come up in Jamshedpur”.

He advised the budding filmmakers to learn how cinema is changing with time and be techno savvy in today’s world where there is so much competition.

The filmmaker also expressed gratitude towards former English teacher and actor Siddharth Sen who has been the pillar of strength. “Goutam Shankar Das has been the face of ‘Shorts’ in Jamshedpur since the day of inception.

I would also like thank Mohammed Nizam, Nichita Roy, Raju Mitra, Indranil Hazra, Rajani Shekhar, Principal DBMS English School, along with Neha Tiwary HOD, mass Communication, Karim City College, Laxmishree Banerjee former Pro VC Kolhan University, Govind Sharan from Tata Steel and last but not the least Shakeel Bhai from Noorzahan Production who encouraged film makers by providing trophies”, the ace filmmaker signed off.

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