Can you convey an idea in 60 seconds? That is what 60 filmmakers from India, Pakistan and Britain tried to do in 60x60, a project by Motiroti, an international arts organization based in London.
The James Beveridge media resource center of AJK Mass Communication Research Center (JAMIA MILLIA ISLAMIA) hosted the screening of these 60 one-minute-films on diasporic identity on 29th September for students, filmmakers and academia. The programme called 360 degree Britain- India- Pakistan aims and attempts to depict the cultural spaces between these three countries.
Ms Sabina Gadihoke, faculty of video and television in Mass Communication Research Center opined on the films breaking the pattern of linearity. “The movies offered variety in its thought and conceptualization. Innovatively named as Grey, Me, Winds Have Changed, Benefits of War, and Importance of Bicycles etc. the movies wanted to go beyond the usual,” she said.
“The aim was to take the issues beyond rhetorical debates around identity and culture. The discourse about multiple identities, memories and abstraction were translated by the contributors,” says Ali Zaidi, Artistic Director for Motiroti.com.
According to him, “the film makers wanted to address the issues of cultural hybridity (synthesis) and migration nostalgia primarily”. He further adds the surfacing of new issues hovering around boundaries, nationality and nationhood will push forward the debate concerning culture and ethnicity.
The contributors in this project were a mix of amateurs, artists, filmmakers and students. The usage of animation and graphics for putting across the message caught the attention of students and filmmakers. For Ali Zaidi the approach was to use different narrative techniques, comical dramas and performance based style while giving creative treatments to their works.
Mr. Pawas Bisht, whose film was part of the project, commented on the inclusion of elements in the films. His film about his native village in Uttaranchal saw mixed reactions.
The screening was followed by discussion involving students and filmmakers. The usage of voices and language (melting pot of English, Urdu, and Punjabi) interested many. Ali Zaidi added that the one minute medium was challenging and testing for the filmmakers. “The project jury while selecting the proposals had to go through rigorous contemplation,” he said.
Earlier the movies were shown in the journalism festival of Kamla Nehru College (Delhi University). These screenings will be carried forward in Alhamra Arts Council in Lahore, Pakistan in the coming week.