The jury for these awards comprised Paromita Vohra, filmmaker, writer, teacher and curator; Gitanjali Rao, animation film maker, winner of the Cannes Award for her short film ‘Printed Rainbow’ and teacher of animation, illustration and visual story telling; and Surabhi Sharma, a filmmaker and teacher.
Their comments on the winning and shortlisted entries for the Toto Awards for Short Film are below:
Raam Reddy (Winner) for 'IKA' ('Feather')
Seemingly simple, this evocative film has a sharp eye, a warm, wise heart and a clear intellect. The film’s many layers were handled with remarkable lightness of touch and fluency of film language. The filmmakers displayed a confidence and sincerity in storytelling and filmmaking evident through the pace, the shot-taking, the handling of actors, all of which were exceptional. 'IKA' is an example of how a careful, clear crafting can create an almost documentary sense of warmth and spontaneity. In a few fluid minutes it takes us into a story, a world and another life, creating pleasure and empathy as only art can.
Anoop Sathyan (Winner) for 'A Dream Called America'
This disarming documentary is made with extraordinary maturity and complexity. It tells the story of a family living through material and emotional transition without judgment, with affection and respect, without reducing people to types, without telling us what to think. Most importantly, the film never uses intimacy as currency to intrude on the private lives of the less privileged, even while telling a very personal story. The extreme open-heartedness and political respectfulness of the film, and the use of a simple yet consistent documentary style help to draw out the nuances of the tale and tell a compelling story of our times.
Yashaswini (Special Mention) for 'Site Mapping'
The rhythm of filmmaking and the rhythm of dance come together with assertive energy in this film. Physical space, the memory of labour it holds, light and movement convey abstract ideas with satisfying complexity and clarity.
Anusha Nandakumar (Special Mention) for ‘Sita Haran and Other Stories’
The unique and enjoyable visual style of this film combines the folk and contemporary with whimsicality and flair. It is especially notable for its ability to use filmmaking language to evoke wonder and a sense of magic in a very similar way to the folk form it uses.
Diksha Grover (Special Mention) for ‘Vanity Box’
A short film with a large canvas. Using one location and moment it pulls in a range of emotional threads to make a dramatic interweave and play with ideas of self and others, love and despair, choice and longing. These ambitious human concerns overcome its slightly hesitant filmmaking.