Imagine being an aspiring filmmaker and being able to show your work to cinema audiences at major theatres. And then getting the chance to pitch the script for your next film to a major production house.
The cinema database website Moviebuff.com, in association with actor Suriya’s 2D Entertainment is now offering Tamil Nadu just such an opportunity with First Clap, a theatrically showcased talent hunt for aspiring filmmakers.
First Clap is a short-film competition aimed at finding new filmmaking talent in Tamil Nadu, and giving them the opportunity to showcase their work on the big screen. Any aspiring filmmaker can register on Moviebuff’s website and submit entries of short films no longer than 3.15 minutes, till 11.59pm on January 16, 2017.
A panel of industry experts and film enthusiasts will then shortlist a set of films that will be published online for public voting. The top five films will be screened in groups of theatres out of over 150 theatres in the Qube Cinema Network over a period of five weeks, and audiences invited to vote through SMS or app-based voting for their favourite films.
The three top-voted films will earn their makers prizes of Rs 3 lakh, 2 lakh and 1 lakh respectively. Besides this, the winning filmmaker will be given the chance to pitch a script to 2D Entertainment, and the winners will also be offered the opportunity to intern with 2D Entertainment on a film project as well.
Director Jayendra Panchapakesan, Co-Founder of Real Image Media Technologies, which has kickstarted the competition, points out that First Clap offers a first-of-its-kind platform for aspiring filmmakers. “There are a lot of short films being done, a lot of short films strewn around on the internet. But there is no curated place where you can go and rest assured that a certain quality of short film is available for you to see. And the top five selected films are put on the big screen, where people enjoy it or respond to it the same way they would respond to a feature,” he explains, pointing out that this gives aspiring filmmakers a major platform on which to gauge public reaction to their work.
And with the short film format, he adds, aspiring filmmakers are given a chance to develop a condensed showcase of their talents. “Some of the directors today have got their first break thanks to the short films that they have made. It can be used as a visiting card to pitch to some producers. But there is a whole lot of talent out there, there are a whole lot of people in the industry looking for new talent, but there is no face-to-face meeting that is possible. So, we thought that this platform will create the interface between young new talent and the industry,” he says.
As Suriya had said earlier at the launch of the contest on December 14, “This contest is an opportunity to tell an interesting story in three minutes – a challenge for any new talent or filmmaker who wants to make a mark proving their expertise. At the same time, when presented on the big screen, the filmmaker can also gauge and experience audience reaction first-hand. We all have ideas or experiences in life that are worthy of translation to film. It will be interesting to see the calibre of filmmaking this contest garners.”
Jayendra adds that the involvement of a production house like 2D Entertainment is also a major boost for young filmmakers, particularly as the winners will get a chance to either pitch a project or intern with them. Speaking of 2D Entertainment’s involvement with the competition, he says, “2D Entertainment was also looking at a similar kind of exercise in terms of finding new talent and creating new stories, new filmmakers and so on. So it was a good match with what we are trying to set up.”
For more details on the contest and to submit entries, log onto moviebuff.littleshows.com.