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Saturday, 27 February 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Cinematography in A Regional Film

Best Cinematography in A Regional Film

Welcome back.

So the next award on the list is Best Cinematography in A Regional Film, and the nominees are…

Sebastian Edschmid for Qissa: The Tale of A Lonely Ghost

Spinning a web of stark harsh reality with a mythical dose, the cinematography of Edschmid captures the heart of darkness of his protagonist Umber Singh with utter mastery.

Much of the first part of the film is confined to the patriarch looming house with the lighting capturing a haunting quality to the complete darkness within. The films exterior shots exploring at time both a barren and lively Punjab. Shadows creep in when necessary with great significance; during Kanwar's mental breakdown at the time of his/her gender identity crisis.

The spell is completely bound during the ghostly transformation scene as the film reaches a mythical plane, Edschmid gives a haunting but spectacle like vibe aided by the scenic beauty of the barren lands of Punjab. It effectively codes his film in a seamless appealing color pallet of browns. Making Qissa what it is; a hauntingly magical old folk tale.

M.J. Radhakrishnan for Ottaal: The Trap

In Ottaal, veteran cinematographer Radhakrishnan is simply let be an observer capturing the scenic beauty of a small village in Kerala and by it the marshes and rivers that interact there.

This is not a knock on his work, in fact through the lens Radhakrishnan builds the atmosphere of the film. He captures a childish wonderment for the audience to truly invest in our protagonist, to heartbreaking results.

In a way the film live and dies on its cinematography, as its arresting visual intensity allows the simple moments to be relished with glee and the easy nature of a relationship build between the audience and the work. It's after all what any filmmaker in any aspect works towards.

Avinash Arun for Killa

It's always difficult for a cinematographer to be able to truly capture the spirit of a character and essentially become it without taking a completely subjective stance [in this case angle] and to maintain that through a film.

Writers can do it and so can actors. Such that their words and their performance essentially encapsulate the characters. Cinematographer can get really close and most do, to the point where one feels the character in their deepest soul through the lens however is only accomplished by a rare few and that too on the strength of their performers stealing that lens away.

Avinash Arun does it, whether with a close up onto Archit Deodar's terrfied face as he is left alone in the fort in a heavy rain or when the young boys are cycling into the shining sun in a long shot. He takes these scenic moments and somehow manages to make us feel that we are experience each and every singular point of this wondrous childhood adventure and evolution.

Maybe, maybe that's why the cinematographer is known as the magician?

Mahendra J Shetty and Aditya Vikram Sengupta for Asha Jaoar Majhe

Poetry in motion is what the camera captures in Aditya Vikram Sengupta's tale of a marriage in dire straights due to the financial crisis. Even then, bathed in the soft light and presenting the serenity of it all; there was no chance the couple wouldn’t be fine after all.

In Asha Jaoar Majhe the cinematography escapes into an ethereal sense without losing its grasp on the realism of the couple's growing angst and desperation to have that one moment in the day where they may savor each others company.

Here is where the cinematography takes us into a poetic beauty of the bed in a forest sequence and truly in its own right becomes a labor of love for the art form.

Mrinal Desai for Court

It's soberness is what makes the camera work in Court stand out. It's hard to remember due to its very cut and dry narrative, that the National Award Winning film is also a technical marvel.

With many uninterrupted long shots and moments of heady talk in its crux sequences; the cinematography becomes an underrated aspect yet one that never wavers or falters.

There is not a false note in how Desai captures his subjects in a fittingly cinematic procedural manner, taking up a characteristically brilliant stance of objectivity allowing the viewer to both be hit by the satirical deconstruction of the system all well as understand the nuances of each character without judgment or bias. Essentially capturing the heart of the story.

And the Winner is...


Avinash Arun for Killa!

So there you go, the award show is going full steam ahead. 

Up Next: A suffering woman blessing the love of two children, A guilt ridden mother forced to see her daughter become her son, A feisty compounded gypsy forced to live a lie of a marriage, A queen imprisoned for years thirsting to see her son and a warrior queen as the sharpest player in the game...HIndie Award for the Best Supporting Actor [Female] in A Regional Film

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia


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