With May here, the annual Cannes film festival is right around the corner. Joining the bandwagon of Indian films at the event this year is a 15-minute indigenous project titled Chana that is part of a short film series called Sinners. These films will premiere at the fest in the Short Film Corner section.
Directed and edited by Nikhil Pherwani, and produced by Vishaal Desai, the story revolves around an 11-year-old starved boy who works at a highway eatery. The effect of hunger on his perceptions and actions is explored as he encounters numerous adventures and misfortune at every turn by a constant temptation to fill his empty stomach.
Though the film isn’t participating in the award categories, the Mumbai-based filmmaker is nonetheless excited about this opportunity. “It took a lot of hard work and techniques to fulfill the task at hand. Cannes is a huge recognition to all our efforts. Needless to say, we’re glad our project got short-listed. I am really looking forward to the screening and the reaction it will garner from a global audience,” he states.
Nikhil had earlier assisted Bollywood directors like Amole Gupte (Stanley Ka Dabba) and Madhur Bhandarkar (Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji) and this is his second short film. According to him, one of the intriguing aspects of this film was the spontaneity on the sets.
He informs, “For one important scene, which we were to shoot on the following day, we didn’t have an actor so we ended up contacting people on the streets the previous night and auditioning them then and there. Finally, a fruit vendor was selected to play an important role!”