Mansi Jain, who collected accolades for her short film Chhuri, has more to be happy about. Another of her short film, titled Everything Is Fine has been invited for 21st Brussels Short Film Festival, which is an Oscar qualifying Film Festival. In an exclusive chat with TheDigitalHash.com she reveals more about this development and her future projects.
Yes, it’s in the In Competition as well as the New Generation Sections, which happens in April-May 2018. I’m not sure of the numbers but I believe they had over 4,800 submissions this year and I think they chose about 60.
It’s always amazing to be selected by good festivals because the competition is so high and it’s getting harder every year. So knowing that BSFF, which is an Oscar Qualifying festival, chose it means a lot. NYIFF is very special because I studied at Columbia in NY and the film started there. There are in fact two of my shorts playing at NYIFF – Everything is Fine, which I wrote and directed and Sariwala, which I wrote and produced in 2012. Back in May 2017, Everything is Fine played at Lincoln Center in New York where it won the IFP Audience Award. Now, almost exactly a year later it’s back in New York. The timing and the place make this screening so special. When Moh Maya Money, which I wrote played there it got a chance to play at more festivals. Ever since it was announced at BSFF I’ve gotten interest from more and more festivals, international distributors etc. So all this is good for the film. I’m very grateful to the cast and crew who made this film happen and I’m glad that more people will be able to see their amazing work.
I have written two show bibles that I am pitching to a few places in India and New York. Other than developing these shows, I am in pre-production for Hitchhiker, a twisted short film. It should be on the floor in June. A show I wrote and served as a creative director on called BFFs With Vogue Season 2 is on voot.com. That was a blast to make. I’m also mentoring a few other people who are making shorts.
I haven’t owned a TV in 6-7 years so I watch content almost exclusively online. And I am very impatient so I mostly binge watch. I finished Wild Wild Country within a few hours. I’ve been recommending it to everyone who asks. I rewatched Paris is Burning recently. Both are on Netflix. I loved The Queen (1967), which is one YouTube. I’m quite desperate for Handmaid’s Tale to return. I have to start Killing Eve. There’s so much great content online it’s hard to catch up. I’d have to give up my career if I had to watch everything that looks good. When I can, I watch rare short films on YouTube and Vimeo. There’s quite a treasure trove of them online for free.
Netflix clearly looks like it’s taking its time, which is good. Their teams, source materials etc look thought-through and promising. But till it actually comes out it’s unfair to say. I am a fan of Varun Grover and Urmi Juvekar so I am looking forward to Sacred Games and Leila. These platforms have definitely created an atmosphere where everyone wants a piece of the digital pie. Hopefully it encourages them to up their content quality and not just focus on quantity.
Make your films. Keep the budget tiny. There’s so much demand for short films now. You can make them for shoestring budgets and recover the money if it’s good. There’s no reason to delay your jumpstart anymore.