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60 SIFF – Getting the message across in a minute
Open Space Nepal (OSN) successfully hosted the Nepal screening of the 60 Seconds International Film Festival (60 SIFF) 2016 in two rounds on May 20 and 24 at Cine-De Chef. This is an annual event that brings together young and enthusiastic filmmakers looking to give creative expression through the medium of film but within the short span of 60 seconds only. Nepal organises the event with Morango Film from Pakistan that initiated the festival in 2013.
This year the festival showcased 48 ‘one-minute’ films out of which 14 were from Nepal. The movies were produced on the prescribed themes of peace, interfaith, water, environment, democracy, innovation, colours of your country, conflict and tolerance. Most depicted social issues and some filmmakers were honoured for their presentations. In this edition, WOW features Chairperson of OSN Faija Parween to gain insight about the events and what it stands for.
What is the purpose behind the 60 Seconds International Film Festival?
The 60 Seconds International Film Festival comes under our international advocacy and media platform. Most of the movies screened here back a social motive, showcasing global socio-political, socio- economic motive. So not only does the festival give young filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their talent, it has also become a podium to show various perspectives of global issues. It is a liberal medium to advocate by capturing the aforementioned issues in a compact one minute video.
Why 60 seconds? The growing popularity of Twitter is a good example to explain that. It is so because posts on the micro-blogging social site are short and to the point. Similarly, keeping the depiction short and crisp maintains a higher quality of focus and content on both grounds i.e. the viewers get to grasp consolidated knowledge in a short time frame and the skills of the originator is well tested. It makes the competition more authentic and challenging. Keeping a short time frame complements the current fast-paced lifestyle and grabs more attention.
Prior to the event, we try to promote it by conducting workshops and various programmes worldwide. OSN handles the entire promotion of 60 SIFF for Nepal. Within this period, we ask the participants to make movies under different themes/categories and send their entries to a globally universal e-mail address. We let them know this is also a competition where the best are awarded. A panel of judges from different parts of the globe then analyse the entries and select the best films from the lot for display on the basis of merit based on the given theme.
Do you release a common playlist around the world?
We have the same set of international movies screened globally. We also promote regional industry, creativity and filmmakers. Hence fulfilling this objective almost all local movies are screened in their hometowns respectively provided they qualify the set quality bar. For instance for the Nepal screening, most of the movies that are screened are Nepali.
How does Nepal perform?
They perform equally fine. Last year Nepal stood second worldwide. But this year due to disturbing externalities like the earthquake and the southern blockade we could taste the flavour of disinterest for movie making among people. I still keep an optimistic approach for better quality entries.
Do you see any differences in the movies annually?
With growing years, people’s analysing and advocating skills have shown broadened horizons. The scale of creativity has risen. With the same theme, presentations have had immense positive moderations. We have witnessed a better sense of presentation, advocacy and understanding.
I would wish to see more of female participation in the upcoming years. Over the years, we have had a very poor ratio of male: female entries worldwide. We would like to promote more of women filmmakers and also movies depicting social issues centering women.
Short filmmaker Dikesh Khadgi Shahi got into filmmaking recently after graduating from Oscar International College of Film Studies, Kathmandu. His passion for storytelling and music led this 25-year-old to his choice of profession. Some of his films include Life Is Just a File, Life Doesn’t Rewind and Balance (I plant trees). His achievement bank comprises of Jury Award at 60 Seconds International Film Festival (Nepal screening), Jury Award at Mister Vorky Film Festival 2016 (Serbia), and Best Film from Nepal 60 Seconds International Film Festival (Pakistan). He was amongst the Top 15 finalists in Sundance What Next Challenge 2016. Besides filmmaking, he enjoys playing drums, creating music, photography and travelling.
30-year-old Shailendra Paudyal has been in filmmaking since 2009. It all began during his teens when he spent hours taking pictures. According to him, visual motion is the best means to put one’s thoughts and ideas across. He studied film making at the Oscar International College. Some of his works include short movies like Pressure and Alternative which got awarded at the 60 SIFF. Besides this, Paudyal has also directed music videos and documentaries. He defines good movies as those which feature great stories or are backed by an educative motive. He is also interested in photography, digital painting and animation.