“PARADOX” a 3 minute short film, made in India, has now been recognized in 11 countries and honored with several awards and nominations including best micro short film, best director, best editor, and best sound design and is a honorable mention at several other film festivals from USA to Australia. We have with us the person behind the creation. The writer, director, editor,visual effects for Award-winning short film Paradox, PREETHAM TIWARI.
Preetham can you give us an overview about this short film?
Preetham: Thank you for the wonderful and humbling introduction. PARADOX is a short film about the quest for reality. At some point in everyone’s life we do question what is real and what is not. Right? Most of us just ignore or sideline the question and carry on with our lives. But there are great souls who have walked this earth who stuck to the question and went very deep into the analysis about reality, and PARADOX is one such attempt to evoke that questioning nature within the viewer.
How does the short film make the viewer question reality?
Well, it’s just like the movie INCEPTION. We feel our dreams are real when we are in them, when we are experiencing them, its only when we wake up we are able to look back and realize that something was not right. PARADOX does the same …it’s a loop between dream and reality and it’s a infinite loop .Since there is no beginning there is no end as well to the actual events of the short.
So why the title PARADOX?
Preetham: That is a very good question. PARADOX is a logically self-contradictory statement or a statement that runs contrary to one’s expectation. The fact is that the logical way of human thinking fails to comprehend a PARADOXICAL situation or statement, but one cannot deny the existence of a PARADOX. To understand a PARADOX, people need to break free from their usual thought pattern and step out of the boundaries that they have confined themselves to.
That seems complicated so there must have been a lot of challenges in making such a short.
Preetham: Yes and no. The concept was challenging but when you have a team that is very supportive of making such concept, then challenges seem to dwarf. My very good friend and the actor in this film, Kalesh, was the first person to be excited and thrilled when I narrated the concept to him. He supported me all the way. Actually, more than what I could ask for. He introduced me to Eswaran Thangavel, the cinematographer of the short, who just beautifully captured every moment of the short. Things just fell in place as we kept working. It was an absolute pleasure to see Kalesh perform with such dedication. The way he was able to understand the situation and convey the emotions needed for the scene is just beyond words. Eswaran is a wizard with the camera and lighting. His knowledge of how to light a shot that brings the whole frame to life is something that can only be experienced by working with him. The music was composed by my friend, Sterlin Nithya and the work speaks for itself as the music perfectly captures what is happening on the screen. The short has no dialogues so it was very important for all the other elements convey all the emotions and drama and that sense of wonder on the screen.
How was it for you to handle the different departments. You have written, edited, done the visual effects and directed the short. Was it very stressful to do such multitasking?
Preetham: A director needs to multitask. That is his job, I think. When I did my diploma in visual effects, I gained a very broad knowledge of film making. Right from the script writing phase to the production to postproduction and more. Doing Visual effects for the short was the most time-consuming part as I had to work for more than 2 days to get just 10 second of the double shot. We were on the clock as we had to submit the short at the world’s largest short film festival called “My Rode Reel “.So, I managed to edit and complete the visual effects and the title effects within 3-4 days of completing the shoot and then Sterlin added the music and sound effects in another 4 days, and we were able to finally submit the short at My rode reel and it is a official selection at the festival.
Seems like a very challenging project but it seems to be worth the challenge as it has now been selected in more than 25 international film festivals.
Preetham: Definitely, worth it. In fact, it is an official selection in 27 international film festivals in 11 countries including Hollywood, USA where it won the Silver award for best sound editing and honorable mention at the Independent short awards festival. It won the best short film award at Drive in events New York and the best international short at the channel island film awards and it has also been awarded the best director for micro short at Arts Film Awards in Skopje Macedonia. It also won the Jury’s choice award at the New Age Cinema and Scripts festival in Mumbai and recently it won the award for Best editing at Onyko Films Awards, Estonia.
The short does seem to be gathering attention all over the globe. What was your inspiration for the short or what made you do this short film?
Preetham: I am an aspiring film maker. I am currently in the process of putting together resources and the team to make my first feature film. Making short films is one of the ways through which a film maker can begin their journey towards making their big project.When it comes to direction I am inspired by several people. One of them being Christopher Nolan. Before venturing into film making, he had made a few shorts and one of them was called DOODLEBUG. It is a very interesting short with a run time of less than 3 minutes and it also has an infinite loop. I have tried to do something similar with my short PARADOX.
Since PARADOX AnantaSarga is making such waves globally what are your future plans?
Preetham: Me and my friend, Varun Kulkarni, have set up a production company called AnantaSarga Productions. Varun is a very good friend and has very strong leadership and managerial skills.We are coordinating on making our first big project for which we also have the script ready. We are staying very busy and directing all our efforts towards AnantaSarga Productions. Right now, we are also making a YouTube series on the history of India called “Breathing History”. The series is presented by Varun. Each episode is between 5 -8 minutes long and every episode features a forgotten or ignored personality from the India’s past. Breathing History is also making a steady progress towards great heights with each episode, and we are happy to be coordinating and working on what we are truly passionate about.