Short film on 1984 riots to be screened at Venice film festival

Mumbai Sat Aug 3, 2013 10:28am IST

A still from ''Kush'' taken from the film's Facebook page.

A still from ''Kush'' taken from the film's Facebook page.

Mumbai (Reuters) - A short film centered around the 1984 anti-Sikh riots has been selected for screening at this year's Venice Film Festival.

"Kush" is a 20-minute film based on a real-life incident about a teacher who saves a Sikh student during the riots following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

The film, made by 21-year-old Indian film student Shubhashish Bhutiani, will be screened in the festival's "Orizzonti" section, which showcases new trends in world cinema.

It is the only Indian film to be screened at the 70th edition of the festival, which kicks off with the George Clooney starrer "Gravity" on August 28.

Shot on a shoestring budget of 8 lakh rupees and with help from friends and parents during the shoot, Bhutiani says he didn't tell anyone he was entering his film in the festival.

"I had absolutely no hopes that it would be selected. I just entered it and didn't tell anyone," he told Reuters over phone from New York, where he is studying filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts.

Bhutiani said he was inspired to make the film after he heard his own teacher narrate her experience.

"I am taking a stand against violence, I guess. But otherwise, my film is about the characters and their story. I am not making any political statement."

The riots killed nearly 3,000 people, most of them Sikhs.

Bhutiani said he wasn't sure if the film would be released in India, given that the market for short films is virtually non-existent in the country.

"I am OK with it never releasing in India, because I know what the market is like. But I would like it to travel to festivals all over, because it shows a positive, human side of India that I would like everyone to see."

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, editing by David Lalmalsawma)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Art World

REUTERS SHOWCASE

A Minute With

A Minute With

Shailene Woodley on teen sex, violence and Marvel.  Full Article 

Music Chart

Music Chart

U2 album stumbles in Billboard chart after free iTunes debut.  Full Article 

Snowden Documentary

Snowden Documentary

Filming in fear: Edward Snowden as 'Citizenfour' .  Full Article 

Sax and the City

Sax and the City

Kenny G hits sour note in China with Hong Kong visit .  Full Article 

More Content

More Content

Alibaba looking to expand Hollywood content offering - Bloomberg.  Full Article 

The Savage Mountain

The Savage Mountain

Photographer Wolfgang Rattay travelled to northern Pakistan to trek the K2 base camp trail.  Slideshow 

Humane Filmmaker

Humane Filmmaker

Animal rights group honors 'Noah' director avoiding animal use in film.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage