Beyond the lens

Feb 22, 2013, 12:24 IST | Hassan M Kamal

The week-long film and photography festival, Magic Lantern, kicks off on February 24 with film screenings, workshops and talks by acclaimed directors and photographers

Come February 24 and photography and film enthusiasts in the city will get a unique opportunity to not only learn more about the art of photography, but to also watch award-winning films. Magic Lantern, a week-long film and photography festival, will bring the city’s most popular photographers and award-winning filmmakers on the same platform as they share the secrets of the trade, discuss their works and help fine-tune one’s craft.

A still from City Eyes by Sameer Tawde

What’s in store?
So, while Fawzan Husain will take you through the art of documentation using pictures, Andrea Fernandes and Philippe Kaalia will take you through the entire process of black and white film developing and printing the old- fashioned way followed by an informal session on building a portfolio by Fernandes, whereas Nrupen Madhwani will teach participants on how to be their own critic. “The idea is to touch those aspects of photography, which we always fail to pay attention. You might like photography and possess an eye for detail, but you can do better with a few inputs,” believes Gayatri Sarang of Photo Caddy, who have organised the event in association with the Bandra-based TFAC Studio.

A still from Mexican animated film La Revolucion de Juan Escopeta, which will be screened for the first time in India at Magic Lantern

A major highlight of the festival says Sarang, is ‘Grab a Photo’, where photography lovers can pick their favourite prints among those on display, and pay any price they choose for it. “It’s a great way to help photographers get paid for their work, and at the same time, allow photo enthusiasts to appreciate good works,” she says. Borrowing its name from the old image projector, Magic Lantern will also screen some of the recent international and national award-winning films like La Revolucion de Juan Escopeta (The Revolution of Juan Escopeta), a Mexican animation film, which will have its India premiere at the festival and Hansa, a film by Manav Kaul that looks into the problems faced by communities in the Himalayan ranges, among others.

A still from Exit Through the Gift Shop directed by Banksy

Why so special?
Also to be screened at the fest is Anhey Ghorey De Daan, a Punjabi film by director Gurvinder Singh that looks at the plight and problems of Indian farmers as well as landlords. What makes the screenings more interesting, reveals Sarang, is that every film screening will be followed by an interaction with its director or a special master class that will look into the art of film-making.

A still from Post by Philippe Kaalia

“Directors like Manav Kaul, Vikramaditya Motwane of Udaan fame and National Award-winner Gurvinder Singh will talk about their films along with a special master class on early history of cinema by Jeroo Mulla,” adds Sarang.

“The festival goes beyond film screenings or photographers’ works. It’s an attempt to help budding filmmakers and photographers connect to these art forms at a deeper level,”  she asserts.


Academy shorts
Catch a special screening of all the short films organised by Shamiana’s Short Film Club. Every film has been nominated for the Academy Awards over three years and it includes this year's nominee, Death of a Shadow. Other screenings include The Kinematograph, Time Freak and Pentecost.

A still from Death of a Shadow

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