Saturday, December 07, 2013

Short Film Window

I am happy to announce the operation of Short Film Window ( a platform where one can Discover, Watch and Share the best stories of our time .

The site is up and running and is in Beta stage and is repository of short films from across the globe. We have managed to syndicate around 160 shorts from Film Schools and Independent contributors and am in the process of reviewing and uploading them. 
I see Short Film Window as a global platform that hosts the best short films from across the world.
My goal is to to be the one place where individuals can come and see high quality short form content on a regular basis.
Do play around with the platform. It works on iPads and computers and I am planning to have it work on mobiles too. Also I feel I should be developing an app for it. But my current focus is good content and creating a syndication team. 

Key Features: 
- Neat, simple snappy
- Integration with social networking sites
- Can choose films based on Genre, Language, Popularity, Length and Text
- Infinite scroll, List and Table views
- On-hover film info, one-click movie watch
- Content monitoring - Only well-made good short films are present
- HD films, hosted on Vimeo-Pro
- It's free and also ad-free !

So if you know of good short films or filmmakers, please feel free to ping me or write to

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Golden the Pony Boy

"Cotton and cardboard, cellophane and paper, thread, needle to employ,
All felt and fabric, birds fly and cats play,
 Golden the pony boy.
Made out of cloth and standing so still, just like a simple toy.
Gray as the sky on a day without sun,
Golden the pony boy.
Screwdrivers, rubber bands, glue guns and pliers, tools to create or destroy.
Patiently waiting, un-calculating,
Golden the pony boy.Flying wheels and coloured reels,
Spin into motion,
Bringing him lots of joy,
Trot, canter, gallop,
Over land and sea,
Golden the pony boy"

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pushing the boundaries

One is pushing the boundaries of form - in terms of your camera techniques, your way of telling a story, editing, acting etc...the treatment

but other is pushing the boundaries of what you are telling - in terms of saying things that have been unsaid or are difficult to say in a line or two or even in an essay- you cannot serialize your thoughts - you have to tell that in the form of a story so that the listener synthesizes that complex ambiguous thought from your story... and discovers an interesting facet about life...

isn't that what we should be pushing with all our films...

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

100 years of Indian cinema

I had the idea for this post in my mind for a long time but couldn't find time to write about it in Mumbai.

Here in a student town of Madison, spending time with PhD grads, and Silicon Valley enthusiasts - in the midst of a technology wave where "the young is eating up the old everyday", I thought my idea has reached a stage that I could verbalize it.

100 years is very less for any art form. We have art forms like painting and writing and designing that probably started at a time we were barely evolved as homo sapiens. These art forms have evolved, branched, transformed, travelled and have become an integral parts of our life. They have "matured". Has cinema matured in these 100 years -in India?
What is the benchmark for maturity ? When do we call an art form has matured, and are we getting there?

I felt one thing that sets moviemaking apart is that its main creators are concentrated in various film cities. It is not an everyman's art form.
 Ofcourse, movie making is logistically a larger effort than say painting or writing which can be an individual pursuit. Movie making is a team effort -  either a small team or a large team but generally it requires more than one person -  and is an expensive pursuit nonetheless. Making a good well-finished movie also requires training that is not integrated in out school cirriculam.
But we are not talking about costs or training right now, we are first talking about decentralization. Has it reached a stage where any person in a village who wants to make a movie can actually go ahead and make it? And what are the chances that the movie he makes can potentially move us emotionally as much as a movie made in mainstream?

I think digital revolution is one of the key things that will help movie-making ubiquitous and will bring about a plurality that is much needed for its maturity. Prob not just digital revolution but also including film making in curriculum the way drawing and painting is. Films or rather videos are now becoming integral part of our life with online educational courses, advertisements, farewell videos and even instruction kits using videos to illustrate a point. Therefore learning how to make a movie not just sensitizes people but also serves as a good skill set .

Our film content was probably more evolved in the 50s when the film as an art form was being discovered and people from all walks of life were entering it. Now, there is some sort of calcification of mindsets. Art thrives in exploring the unknown - trying out new things.  Its important to ensure we make money but why is it not important to ensure that we create beautiful original movies ?

That's why I feel that one thing that we should look out for is ensuring that more and more number of people can make movies bypassing traditional producers and traditional mindsets. More people will also comeup with smart and better ideas of tackling one of the biggest bottleneck of film business  - the distribution.

 It's hightime, like in silicon industry (which is also relatively young) for the young newer ways to start competing with older traditional ways. The day a film made by a newbee in nagpur competes equally strongly with Iron Man for our attention- I will celebrate the most !

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


 Normally I am pretty matter of factly about cinema but compilation of this rare chinese archival footage by Wong Kar Wai on one of my fav melodies got me really gushing.

I tried hard couldn't find the translation of the song except it's title which means "The years slipped by like flowers" . But I found some other translation of some other song (which I customized to shorted and make it prose like) and I thought I could as well ascribe the meanings of that song into this one. So here is - my customized translation - of one of my fav chinese song :):

The years slipped by like flowers:
Hazy streetlights quietly stood in the drizzle,
The past again swept me by...
I still remember at the time of parting, 
You tightly held my both hands,
You uttered lightly one sentence "take good care"
And my eyes became hazy...
In foreign land, the wind is colder and the dews are more condensed. 
Layer upon layer, the longing lasts for ages.
From distant land, arrives a secluded sound of songs.
And each melody fills my heart's fields ....

Hazy streetlights quietly stood in the drizzle.
And the past again swept me by ...

Found the translation of the song here:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Power of 1 person

Every person represents the human race - to every other person and to nature. I think it's a big responsibility and great power. Because at any juncture, a singular person with his/her singular action, can redefine the character and capabilities of the entire human race.

Weird dream

Today I experienced a beautiful moment.
And then I went to sleep and I got a dream that I am someone else in some other world and the beautiful moment  I experienced was not real but a dream. And in my dream I was heart broken that my reality was not real but a dream.
But then I woke up and reality fell back in it's original place and I got my beautiful moment back :).

P.S: Bookmarking some delightful animations:

Consumption of art and moral stamina

 Isn't it great to try to touch something inexhaustible and infinite with your work and hope that it comforts the person who is exposed to it.

I am one of them who really truly believe that art/literature/movies can give birth to a tender lilly in the hearts of the cruelest of men.  It can transcend space and time barriers, it can impact your soul. There is a great joy in being exposed to evolved work that originate from intricate and beautiful minds  and that joy is similar to  spending time with a nice friend or mentor who can help you see your life through a prism. You can carry back this wisdom that (if the artist is lucky) will help you fill the gap between you and the world you live in.

I read this interview and found a  great resonance in the fundamental intentions of this artist.

To quote:

"I have difficulty giving up the notion of the nobility of art. I make money doing this, and I want to make money, and I would like to have a lot of money, but I still believe that the only reason to write is that somehow it will make something or somebody better. I do believe—and I know I shouldn’t—that art transcends money and success and any of that. You can still do it if you’re not clinging to the notion of nobility. But I am, I’m clinging to it by my nails. I really can’t justify it intellectually. I’d argue against it rationally. Yet, if it wasn’t for that—what would this life be? What would this world be? What the fuck would we do? I’m fully aware that it’s something that cannot be accomplished by me or anyone, but it’s something to strive for, and fail at, daily."

Full interview here:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Regarding mediocrity

It's hard to make something that's interesting.' It's really, really hard. Basically, anything that anyone makes…It's like a law of nature, a law of aerodynamics, that anything that's written or anything that's created wants to be mediocre. The natural state of all writing is mediocrity. It's all tending toward mediocrity in the same way that all atoms are sort of dissipating out toward the expanse of the universe. Everything wants to be mediocre, so what it takes to make anything more than mediocre is such a fucking act of will. 

You just have to exert so much will into something for it to be good.

- Ira Glass 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Midnight wisdom from a overworked mind

When u have big budget people working in it atleast get good money but when u have a small budget, there is no subterfuge-  u have to make sure u make a fucking good film!  Make that time & effort count.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Law of 10X: Doing everything better by a factor of 10

I woke up at 4 am today because somewhere in sleep I started dreaming about my work and then I just woke up. Since my husband was out of town, my dog was sleeping with me with her tiny head on my stomach - our fav pose.

Anyways I felt I was wide awake so thought I could make a nice cup of tea and work on the thing that had sparked my brain in the morning. My dog's eye was still squinting when I switched on the light so I decided to move to my office downstairs.  I wrapped my dog in my blanket and quietly went downstairs. My dog dutifully followed me and came and slept on my office sofa.

Anyways - the above para seems pointless. However what was significant was that this was not a regular day. This was once in a blue moon day - very rare days when the ideas wake me up and I get so excited that inspite of it being a wintry morning and having a cosy,velvetty dog snuggling next to me, I felt like getting to work. And there was no deadline/motivation for me to abandon a good morning's sleep.
So as a result, this morning I was way more charged up as I normally am.

I also read a thing from Larry Page. It was regarding giving 10X to everything you do. Or rather doing everything better by a factor of 10 (with age you realize that they are two different things). And I just felt that today was the right day to receive that advice. And almost adopt that as a motto, as a benchmark for my every performance, in every field.

Friday, February 15, 2013

When we look at the stars ...

Mixing science, philosophy and dreams in this post:

The light from stars take quite a while to reach us- they measure the distance in light years - some stars take 4-5 light-years to reach us, some take 100-200 light years.. and some thousands...
So interestingly when we are seeing the stars in the sky we are not seeing  the present, but we are seeing the past...
Our night sky - a canopy of stars and constellations - in reality is a web of past - a starry cobweb.

Now we are all synthesized from our environment.  Matter, atoms. We are made up of earth.
How was this earth formed?
After the big bang all the matter started spreading, all the atoms, all the star-dust started spreading in all directions.
The earth made us, but these stars, their dust made the earth.

So when we are looking at the sky, when we are looking at these stars - stars that are thousands of light years away - we are looking at a past .... but not just any past....we are looking at our own past.

Just some food for thought.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


One day my car was passing western express (bandra to goregaon travel), I saw a poster - probably of Dev.D and it struck me because the designs were not common for hindi posters. They were not out-of-the-world for a person following latest designs but one wouldn't find them in Indian posters. 

At that time, I slipped into my fantasy land. I wondered how the poster of any of my film should be, and I was thinking of nature not content as I didnt have a first film in mind then. I thought if my poster would be up on any highway - it should cause traffic jams and minor collisions because the art in it should absolutely fascinate the onlookers. It should be unique, radical yet familier. Like those russian posters I once saw.

And then even in the trailer, if tv is on and if the person is in another room and they hear the trailer they should drop everything and run and look at the trailer. They should feel compelled to share it with everyone and they should feel that they have stumbled upon something great - something that they cannot contain within should fill them up with joy and anticipation...

And how should the movie be - after the movie ends - people should feel transformed - something intrinsically, they feel like being better, they feel like changing the world. Maybe they find out what is the purpose of life and value people who love them more...or they realize something significant and meaningful and pertinent - like they are alone sufficient to bring about a change and do a task and they need no one and still can influence everyone...The film  touches them in that way - it acts like a catalyst for that internal transformation and awakening.
That's why I like to give a feeling of high through films- a film shld be the best kiss you ever had, best musical symphony you ever heard, best painting you have seen, it should be the highest peak you have climbed, it should feel like victories of decades of hardwork, it should be like LSD, and it should be all of this combined. 

I think the medium has the power. I would like to wager that.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

First Blog of 2013 - Speciesism

 This morning I saw lots of picture on my facebook profile of animal testing or animal manipulation to maximize their productivity. Thanks to my friend Richa Hingle for that. If you haven't seen, do see the pictures of cows whose guts have holes so that farmer can access it directly or dogs who are gassed to death or bunnies whose neck and eyelids are opened ala clockwork orange style so that lipsticks and masscaras are tested on them.

Now hardly any of my blog posts have been about animals so why suddenly this post.  Because something happened to me in 2012. If you havent been following me and my 1000 updates then let me state - "yes I got a dog!" This was my first brush with an animal. I never thought animals were worthy of my time. They do not help me any which way - professionally, evolution-wise, they die before me so they even cannot take care of me in my old age, or even materialistically.

But having a dog myself sensitized me towards animals and nature in a way that no documentary or article or experience or trek would ever do. So this article will sound farce to lots of people. But if you have experienced animals in day to day life, have tried to invest time in understanding them, then you will probably understand where I am coming from.
In any case, I suppose articles like these are worth a thought because knowledge never goes waste.

I can testify that animals exhibit the same feelings as humans. I am talking about emotional intelligence EQ. The way we measure EQ in humans, if we could measure in animals, they would probably surpass us. And I say it with my own experience, they demonstrate lot more patience, love, affection and recall than we humans do. If you feel I am saying this because of my undying love for my dog Juno (aka Juno Singh, aka junki aka goodie girl), then believe a person who has studied animals way more than all of us combined - Charles Darwin:

"The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, is certainly one of degree and not of kind. We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention, curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes in a well-developed condition, in the lower animals." 

 I once had a friend and he was telling me that his sister married a Spanish - a language his family didnt know. So how did his sister's husband and his mother communicate? He said we underestimate sign and body language. And that's true, with my dog, both of us (being highly intelligent if we both say so ourselves) have developed a sign/body language which we both understand and for me living with her is like living with another human or say "a stream of consciousness". Animals can speak, its us who cannot listen (but we love shifting the blame to animals). These animals are equally emotionally rich. But any relationship requires time and patience which we lack. Forget about understanding animals, we do not have patience to understand our fellow human being.
Lots of my friends say that we are more evolved than animals, so we earn the right to rule over them. However, I have met lots of people who have very low IQ. In all brashness and immodesty, I can say they are really dumb. But then, should I round them up and gas them to death or puncture their guts or torture them, beat them, kill them eat them and feed it to our kids?  Why was there outrage against concentration camps then?

Somewhere I feel the core problem is identification. We cannot identify with animals and hence we feel its ok to torture them. Sensitizartion towards nature and animals should be part of school curriculum. Isn't that also knowledge and knowledge should first be imparted about our surrounding first. We can study and read up about Big Dipper and Ursa Major later, this is close home, this should be taught first.
This is the moral science we need - respecting other beings. We cannot justify horrible moral choices by saying "we are evolved" or "we are more intelligent" or we are "bystandars" not participants. When on one hand we believe we are peace loving, corruption or rape protesting individuals, on the other hand we cannot totally ignore what we do to animals. When we hold Nazis in disgust, we should be aware that we are being the same with someone else. And it's a moral choice we are making.

Someone once said that - "Knowledge is important. It helps us see what we are and what we might become." Knowledge is strength. I think in today's world we need to redefine "stronger". In my marathon practice, whenever I slowed down, the fastest runner ran back to give me company. That is strength - the ability to help- not ability to rape or ability to torture. That is succumbing to your weakness.