The Bankrupts (Haal-E-Kangaal) @ Manipal International Film Festival

A 'Work in Progress' version of 'The Bankrupts' (Haal-E-Kangaal) was screened at the Manipal International Film Festival on the 20th April, 2014. The film was not colour corrected, the sound was not mixed. The Film Festival was jointly conducted by the Manipal Institute of Communication and the Udupi Chirta Samaj. 

As a part of the communication course, the students have to conduct an event, a film festival, in this university. This is the third time that the Manipal Institute of Communication is conducting a Film Festival; last year they had celebrated 100 years of Indian cinema; where they had also screened my 93 minute documentary on theater personality BV Karanth called  'BV Kranth: Baba'.

A 118 minute version of 'The Bankrupts' (Haal-E-Kangaal) was screened for the second year direction students at the Film & TV Institute of India in Poona some time back this year. After an interaction with the audience, I did go back to the drawing board to make some changes to the film. It is this changed version that was shown to the students at Manipal.

The students here were already exposed to world cinema thanks to the efforts of a dedicated staff led by Varadesh Hiregange, H S Shubha and Sunil Badri and Raviraj Kini among others; and not to mention ever the energetic Phaniraj from the Udupi Chitra Samaj. I did have a fruitful discussion with the audience after the film. The sound design, the thematic concerns, the lack of pace and dramatic curves in the plot were well observed. 

There were critical notes too - one opined that the level of subtlety could have been increased. I was thrilled when one student's 'what the film is about' matched with what I had in mind. Aspects of the politics of the 'self' pertaining to the gradual unmasking of the facade that the characters in the film put on for themselves was also acknowledged by another young mind. 

Over all, it seemed that generally the students were in sync with the film. Screening the film as a 'Work in Progress' was thus an useful exercise.for me. I am already thinking of reducing the length of the film. I plan to have a couple of screenings in other film schools to get some other reactions before I lock things. 

The Schedule on the 20th

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