37-minute short film Jaadui Macchi (The Magical Fish) made by Sushil Kumar and Maheen Mirza of Bhopal along with Rachin and Pallav Thudgar has won the Ra-ra Award for the Best Short Film at the first edition of the International Film Festival of Nepal (IFFON) by the All Nepal Cine Workers Association (ANCWA). That’s not all for the critically acclaimed short which received USD 300 and a trophy after being noticed by the jury in IFFON.
The journey started earlier with the film recognized with a special mention at the seventh International Documentary and Short Film Festival held at Thiruvananthapuram earlier in 2016.
Shot in 2015 in Bhilpura, a small basti located on the banks of the river Narmada in Hoshangabad, it is interesting to note that the crew and cast came mostly from the basti.
Eklavya Collectives, that made the short passion project a reality is an independent, autonomous, non-funded group of people who seek to combine creative efforts and imagination of trained and untrained people to make films that find context in people’s subjective experiences. As a matter of fact, this creative, evolving group has made two other short films, Chanda ke Joote and Salt of the Earth and is also working on their own feature film.
Jaadui Machchi has its protagonist in Jyotika, a young girl who is marveled on hearing about the story about a magical fish. The premise is set as around the same time, a contractor visits Bhilpura with a proposal for the fishermen, promising them wealth and happiness.