Four budding filmmakers were recently crowned winners of a filmmaking competition organised by Singapore startup Filmwallas and supported by Indian multinational IT services firm HCL Technologies.
The competition, titled #ACutBeyond, was created to identify and support amateur/ upcoming filmmakers so that they could showcase their movies and stories to a global audience. Participants were challenged to create films that show how next-generation technologies are impacting today's world.
Mrinal Bahikhandi took home US$5,000 for winning the first prize with his short film titled The Complaint. The film told a poignant tale of how a Muslim technician and Indian retiree reconciled with their old emotional scars over the course of a laptop diagnostic check.
Launched in partnership with Hamaramovie.com on India's Independence Day (15 August 2017), The Complaint has garnered more than 80,000 views on YouTube.
The second prize of US$3,000 was awarded to The Priceless Art, which showcased how a small boy who used instant messaging to raise money for his ailing sister.
The third prize went to two films. One is The Hajji, which showed how a boy used virtual reality to fulfill his neighbour's dream of experiencing Hajj (ie. annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca).
The other second runner-up is The 8th Sense, which tells a story of how imagery, virtual reality and automation tools guides day-to-day human existence. For instance, the simple action of watering plants to attending interviews with a cybernetic presence.
According to Filmwallas, around 2, 000 filmmakers globally took interest in the contest, while 70 teams participated in it. The participants went through a vigorous mentorship programme, in which Bollywood filmmaking experts provided guidance from the scripting to the production stage to fine-tune the films.
"Filmwallas made sure that the contestants went through an enrichment process by qualified Bollywood mentors who are experts in their own fields. It's because of this process that enables us to source high-quality film for brands at a very low cost," explained Zafar Anjum, founder & CEO, Filmwallas.
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