Short films from across the world are being screened at Indralok Audiotorium near Narayan Singh Circle in the state capital as part of Rajasthan Day celebrations. The three-day film festival got off to a heady start on Wednesday, with schoolchildren in uniform thronging the auditorium till teachers dragged them out and back to school.
Among the films screened on the first day was ‘Mum’ from Madhya Pradesh, directed by Akash Mihari. Shot at Burhanpur, the film is the story of a little girl reluctant to go to school. She is tenderly scooped off the swing on which she is lazing in the morning and packed off to school by her father. At school, she arrives late, is scolded and asked to read her essay on “Mother”. The motherless child recites a tale about how her goat had delivered two kids – and when she tried to make off with one kid, the goat bleated her desperation and anxiety without cease. “Then my father told me to return the kid to the mum, and it was amazing how she grew quiet again,” the girl said, talking of how she had found an abandoned baby on her way to school and would take it home to give it the goat’s milk. “But how could this child be abandoned? How come it has no anxious mother looking for it,” the little girl questions.
From Ecuador, viewers could see the story of ‘Trully’, the lonely wolf, who still howls in loneliness at the moon, where he believes his loved one has gone.
An Italian film showed a child called Yudhishtir – surprisingly, as the credits rolled, the child who played the role was named so in real life too, one found – wishing to adopt as his grandmother an old lady he met at the metro station, attempting to sell hand-made shawls. Denied the absurd request by his surprised parents, he searches on the internet for retired people’s homes. He sends a request to one of them, and the elderly woman is at last able to move to a home where she feels less lonely.
‘Mountains Corinthia’ showed vast scenes from the air of the mountains in Corinth in Greece and the lakes in the region – there was no narrative, just scintillating music interspersed with birdsong.
It was a rambunctious, lively audience. One that seems set to enjoy all three days of this festival, which marks the formation of Rajasthan by the coming together of princely states like Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner and others. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel inaugurated Rajasthan on March 30, 1949.