Sharmila Tagore: Enjoyed inventive ways of storytelling

Updated: 09 July, 2020 08:25 IST | Letty Mariam Abraham | Mumbai

Sharmila Tagore watches over 300 short films as a jury member of the Lockdown Film Festival.

Sharmila Tagore
Sharmila Tagore

"I'd rather binge-read than binge-watch," chuckles Sharmila Tagore, taking us by surprise. After all, in the past few weeks, the veteran has done more than her fair share of viewing as a jury member of the Lockdown Film Festival. The festival is an initiative of Carrot Films, which partnered with the National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) to stream the chosen 20 films on its homegrown OTT platform, Cinemas of India.

As part of the 12-member jury, Tagore enjoyed "a diverse and delectable treat" as she watched over 300 short films. "I was amazed to see the level of competency. The films were so engaging — some had humour, others were cynical. Some brought out the claustrophobia and the mental stress [that is brought on by] the lockdown while others beautifully dwelled on the positive aspects. I enjoyed the inventive ways of storytelling with limited resources and time."

The selection of short films was based on several categories, including plot, ability to tell a complete story in three minutes, acting, and technical expertise like direction, cinematography and editing. Choosing 20 best offerings from the hundreds of entries is no mean feat.


Tagore explains that the decision was democratic. "We had a few [virtual] meetings and our different points of view were discussed threadbare and settled democratically until we reached a consensus. Everyone's voice was heard and we didn't have any problem," states the veteran, who shared the responsibilities with Aparna Sen, Ratna Pathak Shah, Adil Hussain, among others.

When not performing jury duties, Tagore is keeping busy by taking classes on Greek and Roman poetry and literature. "I have also utilised this time to revisit many of my old favourite films, including Out of Africa [1985] and The Lunchbox [2013]. I also watched The English Game, Jojo Rabbit [2019], and Ford v Ferrari [2019]."

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First Published: 09 July, 2020 07:28 IST

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