7 DAYS IN SLOW MOTION
Directed by Umakanth Thumrugoti, 2009
Running time: 101 min
Hindi and English, India
Cast: Teja, Kunal Sharma, Shiva Varma, Rajeshwari Sachdev-Badola, Ayesha Jaleel, Vivek Mushran
Set in middle-class India, 7 Days in Slow Motion marks the comical yet thoughtful journey of a 6th grader Ravi and his friends whose lives change when they chance upon a camera of a visiting American tourist. Their insatiable love for movies push them into a film-making mission of their own, but their path is riddled with problems: they only have 7 days to make the film as their final school exams begin in 7 days.
Ravi uses creative ways to keep his friends involved in the project during the stressful exam season. But his movie-making project accidentally captures some darker moments of his friends’ and families’ lives which get revealed in a party where everyone suddenly sees on the screen who they are and what they represent.
7 Days in Slow Motion in a subtle way, shows a kid’s rebellion against a system where there is a lot of pressure to succeed academically. It is a beautifully pictured comedy of errors about a film-making project by children, where adults see the truth through a child’s eyes and his ‘borrowed’ camera.
KALA PUL (THE BLACK BRIDGE)
Directed by Saqib Mausoof, 2008
Narrative Short, 42 minutes
Director: Saqib Mausoof
Cast: Salim Iqbal, Angeline Malik, Munawar Saeed, Ayesha Toor
Kala Pul is named after a bridge in Karachi which connects the affluent parts of the city and the lower income areas.
It is a dark journey into the heart of Karachi’s militancy by the protagonist, Arsalan, who returns to this gritty megalopolis after 12 years to investigate the violent death of his brother at the hands of religious fundamentalists. On his arrival in Karachi, Arsalan finds himself estranged from his rancorous family, in which his anglicized father is at odds with his devoutly militant younger brother. Arsalan has to navigate these diverging and conflicting paths to discover his dead brother’s past and Karachi’s future.
The plot uses the bridge as a metaphor providing a thriller ride between two completely different worlds – the hip side of Karachi and its disenfranchised youth growing up in the “Kalashnikov culture”.