So here is a Malayali going International. The much acclaimed short film ‘Karma Code’ has been chosen for Cannses Film Festival!! And director of the movie, Mr. Vinod Bharathan, a Kochiite, has much to share with us. He speaks about how the movie was evolved, his plans and much more. Read on..
Genesis of KARMA CODE:
I was on a 10-day visit to India to visit my cousins wedding. I decided that I would use the rest of the 8 days to make a short film. I wrote the script to KARMA CODE in the 8-hour flight from Copenhagen to Chennai.
INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING IN CHENNAI:
Since the wedding was in Chennai, I thought that I could assemble the cast and crew from there. The concept of zero budget filmmaking (including professional actors) was not known in Chennai. On the third day, I decided head back to my hometown in Cochin and just enjoy the vacation.
RESTARING THE PROJECT:
While in Cochin, I pitched my plan to my best friend, SurajRamakrishan (Associate producer of 22FK). SURAJ wanted to project to be back on track, so he assembled his resources along with the ace photographer SHANI SHAKI. SHANI and SURAJ roped in SHYJU KHALID (cinematographer of 22FK), who suggested the rest of the cast and the crew. A simple audition later, the cast included VINAY FORRT (RITU, APOORVARAGEM), RONEDAVID RAJ (DADDY COOL), AHAMED SHAHEEN and RIFAYE SHAHIB (new-comers). Shyju and the entire cast agreed to work free of costs to support independent filmmaking.
TIGHT ON TIME:
As we boarded the last man into the crew, we had only 4 days left before I took by flight back to Copenhagen. We filmed KARMA CODE in two days with locations in Ernakulam and Fort Cochin. I had managed to make the production of the short film in 10 days. I took the raw film back to Copenhagen to edit it in my studio.
THE FESTIVAL RESPONSE:
Even though KARMACODE was project I created to test the waters on Indian Film Industry, I wanted to assess how it stood in the world scene. With two International film-festival selections, and several screenings around the globe, we realised that KARMA CODE was great project and it needed to travel more around the world.
KARMA CODE AT CANNNES:
KARMA CODE came back to the edit room once again for the rough edges to be polished before it was ready for film festival season 2012. Our first submission was to SHORT FILM CORNER at CANNES, to which we got a selection confirmation within two hours of submission.
SHORT FILM CORNER AT CANNES:
The prestigious film festival at CANNES, besides the RED CARPETS and THE PREMIERES, is the worlds largest film market. The SHORT FILM CORNER is a market for short films, where short films are bought and sold. Every year, SHORT FILM CORNER at CANNES selects 2000 short films from around the world to their market. Earlier years, a selection was granted on submission of a short film, but with the increase of filmmakers, they selection criterion has changed. The SHORTFILM CORNER now selects only films that they think adds to their market value. 20 short films from India (mostly international co-productions), that includes 4 short films from Kerala, are now catalogued in the SHORT FILM CORNER at CANNES 2012.
SO, IS IT A GREAT THING?
A selection at SHORT FILM CORNER is widely misrepresented mostly by Indian filmmakers as an OFFICIAL SELECTION at CANNES, which is NOT! But a selection at SHORT FILM CORNER earns you accreditation to the festival in its entirety.
ARE YOU GOING TO CANNES?
Yes. But, finding accommodation during the festival season is not easy as the rates hike as much as 20 times the normal rates. Onemight end up using the budget enough to make a feature film, during our 10 days at CANNES.
Title: KARMA CODE
Cast: RONEDAVID RAJ, VINAY FORRT, RIFAYE SHAHIB, SURAJ RAMAKRISHNAN and AHAMED SHAHEEN
Cinematography: SHYJU KHALID
Story and direction: VINOD BHARATHAN
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
IFFA (International film festival of Ahmadabad 2010) official selection
SMJ (Show Me Justice, Kansas, U.S.A 2010) Official selection
Link to the film