The inaugural edition of the Mumbai International Student Film Festival (MISFF) was organised by Film Critics Circle of India (FCCI) and Cinema Society of India in association with and at KES Shroff College of Arts & Commerce, Kandivali, Mumbai, Dec 8 & 9, 2023. The primary objective of the Festival is to offer students a specialised platform that allows them to showcase their work, broaden their cultural understanding, and interact with film industry professionals.
Two panel discussions were conducted. The panelists for the acting session, on Day 1, comprised moderator Bijaya Jena, Arfi Lamba, Prashant Naik, Zachary Coffin (USA), and Akriti Singh. The panelists for the filmmaking session, on Day 2, comprised moderator Oorvazi Irani, Katharina Suckale (Germany), Kaurwakee Vasistha, Sharad Raj, Johnson Thomas, and Joy Bimal Roy.
The short fiction film jury comprised Daniela Rogobete (Romania), Monita Borgohain, and Vijay Sharma. The documentary film jury comprised Alvaro Turrion (Spain), Amartya Acharya, and Ratan Sil Sarma.
Best Short Fiction Film - Luiza Budejko's Resurrection (Poland)
Jury Special Mention, Short Fiction - Aneta Bussold's Summer 43 (Poland)
Best Documentary Film - Himanshu Tomar's Waves (India)
MISFF 2024 would be a year-long festival, spread across a variety of schools and colleges in Mumbai.
Day 1 - panelists at the session on acting: Arfi Lamba, Prashant Naik, Bijaya Jena, Zachary Coffin and Akriti Singh.
Arfi said, “Keep working hard and don’t give up and you will reach your goal. Keep on doing films. It doesn't matter if they are not up to the mark. You'll get better as you go along. Practise is the most important.”
Prashant said, “Please take one master shot and three single shots so that it would help during the editing if any shot is not upto your satisfaction. And please avoid non actors as you have to compromise on your editing to salvage a scene. One must take a master shot,some important close ups and have triple take technique. Triple take technique is overlapping the same shots with continuity so that you can match the action during editing."
Akriti said, "How I use my intuition to prepare my characters as an artist? I question various aspects of the character. As an actor to prepare for a character I dwell deep into my intuition, and I ask questions from the character that I am playing. That helps me to understand the inner life of the characters. That is my process."
Akriti's said, "How to make better films in a limited budget? The most important thing to create films when the budget is limited is to use your brain a little bit more. Create elaborate plans in pre-production and also learn as much about the process as you can."
Bijaya said, "Method acting by Lee Starssberg teaches us to remember the emotional experiences we have had or observed to recreate in a film if the situation demands so. Sometimes emotional memory helps like we hear a piece of music which is connected to an unpleasant situation or ecstatic situation, you can remember and enact the same emotion. Film acting is different from the stage acting as on a stage we want to be heard or seen by the last row but in cinema in a close up, the camera can catch the flutter of an eye or a heavy sigh to express the mood. And in cinema, we use colour and sound effects to convey an emotion like a thunder or gush of wind. Bad acting can be salvaged, Eisenstein once said. You take a blank close up and add sound effects and some montage shots, and it will convey the desired effect. Marlon Brando had to be told about a hypothetical situation about his daughter by Bertolucci to create the mood for a shot in Last Tango in Paris.
In reply to question from a student on the difference between Rasa and Bhav, Bijaya said, "Bhav is emotion, and Rasa is the chemical composition of Bhav, meaning different moods."
Prashant said, "Never take a bad actor. I once edited a film that had bad acting, and to cover it up, I was compelled to use some random shots, which were not ideal, in order to somehow salvage the scene."
The panelists for the filmmaking session, on Day 2, comprised moderator Oorvazi Irani, Katharina Suckale (Germany), Kaurwakee Vasistha, Sharad Raj, Johnson Thomas, and Joy Bimal Roy.