FROM DELHI TO MUMBAI TO CANNES- THIS WOMAN FILMMAKER HAS MADE INDIA PROUD.
Filmmaker Venika Mitra was felicitated at the ‘First Ladies’ event organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on 20th January, 2018 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Giving a new meaning to the term ‘first ladies’, this event commemorated the achievements of women who had the courage to tread an unusual path and succeeded in becoming the “Firsts” in their respective fields. Venika Mitra is an independent filmmaker whose debut short film ‘All I Want’ was declared as the winning film of 2017 General Showcase category of Diversity in Cannes short film showcase and it also took home the Audience Choice award as well. From 231 films around the world, only 6 films were selected and Venika’s ‘All I Want’ was awarded. Her film is the first Indian film to have won in this festival. On being felicitated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development Venika says “I feel deeply honored to be felicitated with the likes of Dipa Karmarker ( first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Rio Olympics 2016), and all the other ‘first ladies’ who have done a commendable job in their respective fields. I truly hope to see more and more women become filmmakers and tell interesting stories.”
The honorable President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind met all the awardees of the ‘First Ladies’ personally. The trophy awarded to all the ‘First Ladies’ has been designed by Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Gandhi.
30-years old Venika Mitra, a Delhi girl, was always enamored by cinema and curious to know how films are made. In 2008, she moved to Mumbai to realize her dream of working in the film industry. Over the years, she worked at all levels on a film set, learning at every stage, and slowly graduated to become the First Assistant Director of a film unit.
Her journey to Cannes is admirable but not an easy one. She pitched her film to a lot of producers in Mumbai but nobody was willing to produce it because short films don’t have any return on investment (as they are not released in theaters like feature films). But that didn’t stop her from making the film. She decided to do crowd funding and reached out to her friends and family in India and in abroad. She also ended up using all her personal savings to complete making the film.
Her film crew, comprising of Oscar and BAFTA award winning sound designer Resul Pookutty, National Award winning music director Anurag Saikia, and renowned Hindi film director Gurmmeet Singh, who is the editor of the film, kept her motivated and were a source of constant support.
About the film ‘All I Want’
‘All I Want’, a 7.24 minute long film, is the story of the purposeful, single minded, and unwavering struggle of a 7-year old street urchin, Ratan, to buy one mango
Other Awards and Recognitions for the film
1. Louisiana International Film Festival, USA: Best International Live Action Short Film
2. Movievalley Bazzacinema, Bologna, Italy: Best International Short Fiction Film
3. Planos Film Festival, Portugal : Special Honorable Mention
4. Dublin International Short Film and Music Festival: Best Edit
5. Slum Film Festival, Nairobi: Best Children’s Film
6. Lights, Camera, Take Action Film Festival, Colorado: Best Short Film
7. Sunlight Film Festival, Berlin: Special Mention Award
8. Flying Elephant Film Festival, Kerala: Best International Live Action Short Film
9. Nuren Film Festival, Singapore: Best Short Film – Asia
10. Humboldt International Film Festival (Arcata, California): Finalist Film
11. Industry Boost Competition, Florida: Finalist Film
12. Los Angeles Cine Fest: Semi Finalist Film
Apart from these, the film was officially selected in more than 20 international film festivals.