Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Nishat Rizvi's short film added to Indian roster at Cannes

A 6-minute film showing a conversation between two Indian brothers filmed on a shoestring budget and directed by a former techie has been added to the ever-expanding roster of Indian films to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival this month.

'Ek Call', written, directed and produced by Mumbai-based Nishat Rizvi, features Asheesh Kapur and newcomer Shivam Bhargava in the lead roles and revolves around a conversation between two brothers, one of whom is getting married.

The seemingly mundane conversation sparks a dilemma for the groom-to-be about marrying his fiance or pursuing an old flame, which threatens to wreck his impending nuptials.

Rizvi told Firstpost: “As the centennial year of Indian filmmaking, it is a special year for India at Cannes and we’re lucky to be a part of it.”

“It’s a festival that I grew up admiring so I am honored and excited to have EK Call premiere at the Cannes Short Film Corner.”

“This film is a light hearted take on a serious conversation. Love and marriage are constant topics of discussion in India. Yet the discussions are superficial without really asking the difficult questions. This was the catalyst for the film,” said Rizvi.

A psychology graduate from the University of Austin, Rizvi worked in San Francisco's tech industry for a number of years before travelling to Mumbai to take a shot at filmmaking.

“I have been making home-movies since the age of 13 when I was given a video camera by my dad. I wanted to give filmmaking a serious shot and started out by focusing on writing and documentary filmmaking. I had the choice of either going to Los Angeles or Mumbai. I wanted to connect to my Indian roots so in 2010 I moved to Mumbai,” she tells Firstpost.

Since her move to India, Rizvi has worked as the assistant director on Gandhi of the Month, My Friend Pinto, Kurbaan and a Spanish film called Night Falls in India.

Rizvi is reportedly in post production on another documentary about blind masseuses with another silent film project lined up next.

“The short film is garnering a lot of attention in India now. Bombay Talkies, directed by four renowned directors, is in essence four short films and that says a lot about the format. Getting financial sponsors for a short film is still a tricky endeavor for a new filmmaker,” Rizvi adds.

“But more and more people are open to the idea of working on a collaborative film project together for the love of the art. And that to me is a huge step in the right direction for the next generation of independent cinema.”

'Ek Call' is the latest addition to the list of Indian films at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which is celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema.

Apart from Bombay Talkies, the Festival features Amit Kumar's 'Monsoon Shootout', Anurag Kashyap's 'Ugly', and 'Dabba' by Ritesh Batra.



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