India has fetched two Film shortlists this time. The agencies that have created these shortlisted pieces of work are JWT India (1) and Handloom Picture Company (1).
Handloom Picture Company's 'Mute' public service film has been shortlisted in the 'Public Awareness Messages' sub-category.
As reported in a previous story, here's some interesting information on Nike's 'Make Every Yard Count' film: From a bank of 2,25,001 crowd sourced images of cricket crazy youngsters, a film was created using 1,440 images. The film features 'seamless action', as the agency puts it, across a thousand playing fields; it's a film of the game in motion, basically. Athletes were invited, via Facebook, Twitter and www.nikecricket.in, to send in their images. The same action was also captured, by 108 traveling photographers, in playgrounds, streets, gullies and cricket pitches across India.
The chants, breaths, appeals, screams and sledges one typically hears during a heated cricket match were recorded and incorporated in the final soundtrack.
Read our detailed story on Nike's 'Make Every Yard Count' film here.
The 'Mute' film has been written and directed by Ram Subramanian, founder of Handloom Picture Company, a production house. (Read more about the launch of this company here.
The short film (a few seconds shy of three minutes), one that was widely appreciated on social media, was released ahead of the 2014 General Elections, in a move to encourage - or rather, provoke people enough - to vote. As reported previously, the 'single shot film' portrays an apparently mute gentleman who expresses his anger over the unfavourable plight of the nation; he gestures angrily about the numerous problems that plague India, such as unemployment, lack of safety for women, poor public health, an incompetent municipality, an ineffective legal system, corruption, inflation and terrorism. The idea is to tell citizens that they are essentially voiceless unless they get out and vote.
Read our detailed story on Handloom Picture Company's 'Mute' film here.
Will these films bring home two Film Lions this year? Let's hope so.
A peek into the recent past reveals the elusive nature of this particular Lion. At the International Festival of Creativity 2013, India didn't get a single Film Shortlist. The last time India won a Film Lion was in 2011; in fact, that year we got two of them - for Big Cinema's Silent National Anthem and Airtel's Endless Goodbye films. Unless, of course, we count Lowe London's Silver Film Lion for our very own Gondappa film last year. In 2010 we won one Film Lion, in 2009 we won two and in 2008 we got one.
As mentioned in a previous story, recall that an Indian entry won a Gold Lion for Best Direction at Cannes 2012 in a related yet very different category, namely, Film Craft; this was Taproot India's 'I am Mumbai' film for Mumbai Mirror, directed by Abhinay Deo of Ramesh Deo Production. Interestingly enough, that year, the same film failed to get a Film Lion; the Film jury president, at the time, said it was too emotional and loud.
In a previous cover story on afaqs!, Abhinay Deo - who won a Bronze Film Craft Lion last year for Nike India's Parallel Journeys film - explained the difference between the Film and Film Craft categories. He said, "Film Craft is not that much about the idea. Rather, it is more about the execution and actual craft. That includes aspects like how well the film is edited, the music, cinematography, direction, art, production design and the like. Film, however, includes the core idea of the commercial and the brand thought as well."
Shortlists for this year's Film Craft category - one in which India has had better luck in, as compared to the Film category - will be announced today.
Watch this space.