24 Hours!


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Dushyant Kanungo, director of the film ‘Before the storm comes
24 hours
Wednesday, October 04, 2006 | City
35 amateur film-makers are in the city shooting short films on the theme ‘Laughter and Terror’ that have to be made within a day
Kenneth Lobo
Amidst the unusual rain, pockets of the city Mumbai have been witnessing strange behaviour. From October 1, over the next four days, thirty-five participants from across the country, will be scurrying around the city, shooting films centering around the theme ‘Laughter and Terror.’ If that sounds easy, the movie (including editing et al) has to be completed in 24 hours flat. The initiative is part of an effort by director Dev Benegal of taking filmmaking to the janta.

The motley crew of amateurs include several that gave up careers to pursue celluloid dreams. Like Dushyant Kanungo, 23, who gave up a lucrative web-designing career and chose not to renew his contract, which would have extended his stay in Stockholm, Sweden. “Around the time Fanaa, Krrissh and all these films released, I came across the 24×7 contest on indiafm.com,” he says. Kanungo’s film, Before the Storm Comes, is a tale of a terrorist, who has a change of heart, when he falls in love with a woman during a chance encounter.

The themes of humanity, loss, longing and desire all feature in the director’s debut effort and excitement has crept into his dreams. “I haven’t slept in weeks. The entire film, complete with background scored and titles keeps looping in my mind,” says Kanungo. His lead actor, Vicky Prithwani (Mujju), who plays the role of the 17-year-old terrorist, is another, who has fought against the wishes of friends and family to enter the line. Why would a terrorist go back on his decision? “He is a terrorist by chance, not choice. The crucial moment is when his lady love (Ani) says, ‘If you can’t make someone laugh, don’t make them cry, at least’”, he explains.

The climax (sorry about the spoiler) sees Mujju turn against his brethren; but in a cruel, albeit filmic twist of fate, he’s killed by a policeman (Mr Singh) on his trail, who happens to be Ani’s brother. Kanungo’s themes might seem familiar but there’s nothing of the sort in Mukesh Tiwari’s Raghav, which portrays the life of a man working in a morgue, who cannot relate with people during the day. “He is happy among dead people,” says Tiwari, who has located a morgue in Mira Road, to shoot his film today.

Another out-of-the-box, experimental film, that has excited judges and viewers alike is The Pauses of a Stand-Up Comedian by Aditya Kelgaonkar. The 24-year-old computer engineer’s effort showcases the effect of terror on laughter.

“A stand-up comedian cracks the same joke over and over again. Nobody gets it. In the end he cries, looking at his plight. That’s when people laugh mistaking his tears for a joke,” he says.

At the end of the week, the three best movies and the winners will be awarded at a function on October 9.

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a scene from the film where the terrorist bumps into the woman who reforms him
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Another scene from the same film
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One thought on “24 Hours!

  1. Hello Dushyant ! you did an amazing job !!!congratulates !So glad to hear you made it so well !Im very proud of you ! I wish you can win finally !these pics are very awesome !keep holding your dream and make it come true !!:)

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