Puducherry: The 9th edition of the Puducherry International Documentary and Short Film Festival -- PIDSFF 2020 -- commenced here on Friday (February 21). An array of internationally acclaimed documentaries including Oscar-winner ‘American Factory’ as well as works of student filmmakers would be screened.
The three-day festival is being organised by the Department of Electronic Media and Mass Communication of the University along with the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Association and the Films Division, Mumbai. Delegates from these bodies would hold talks on varied topics from censorship to independent documentaries and short films.
A highlight of the festival is the screening of a dozen documentary films produced by the students of the Media Department of the Pondicherry University. ‘No Means No’, ‘The Plastic Man of India’, ‘We Are Not Shattered’, ‘Dreams in Blind’, ‘Villupattu’, ‘Kattaikuttu Gurukulam’, ‘Pathagai’, ‘Amar Parob’, ‘Doesn’t stink Out’ are among these documentaries.
“As a student filmmaker I am overwhelmed and excited. I did this documentary for our project and never knew that it will get a space to screen at the PIDSFF. The festival is a huge platform for budding filmmakers," Ahaana Mansai, media student at the PU and the filmmaker of ‘Amar Parob’, told Onmanorama.
"My film is about a story from my native place Odisha. The audience did not even know about the culture there. Such festivals should encourage films from different corners of the world," Ahaana further said.
Documentaries of different genres and variety of styles are being shown. In all around 100 documentaries and short films are being screened at the venue, the JN Auditorium of the Pondicherry University.
Students from various departments of the University and other colleges flocked to the venue on the opening day. Vice Chancellor Dr. Gurmeet Singh attended the inaugural session.
Organisers have also arranged interaction with filmmakers.
“Over the past 8 years we have seen a steady progress in the quality of films showed at the PIDSFF. Student community is formed well in advance. There is nothing like amateur or professional films. Here the filmmakers are getting a chance to learn. It is important for the students to participate in the learning process of documentary making," noted Sivakumar, a member of Tamil Progressive Writers Association.
“None of the independent filmmakers are involved in any form of censoring. There should not be any censorship for documentaries. Students should understand this is a platform to express free ideas. Any form of censorship will hamper your thinking capacity," he added.
Entry to PIDSFF is free of cost. The festival will conclude on Sunday (Feb 23).