Asst. Dir: Swantana Halder

DP: Manish Chowdhury and Salim Ganguly

Format:  1920 x 1080 HD

Camera: NIKON D750

Lens: 50mm, 24-120mm, 80-200mm

Swantana: I rated the camera mostly at 500 ISO, and a focal length 80mm of even by daylight, because I wanted to add grain and texture in this ultra-realistic setup. We were at the border between documentary and fiction, acting and reality, so this helped me to go more into the fiction. This texture and grain helped me to have a softer and deeper image while using zoom lenses.


Asst. Dir: Sujit Dutta

DP:  Salim Ganguly Format:  1920 x 1080 HD Camera: NIKON D750

Lens: 24- 120mm

Sujit:  The choice of the camera and lenses were driven by the director’s vision of the whole movie: handheld camera, “plan sequence” [a long take that constitutes an entire scene] and no makeup for actors. Reality at its best.


Asst. Dir: Roopa Biswas

DP:  Manish Chowdhury and Salim Ganguly Format:  1920 x 1080 HD Camera: NIKON D750

Lens: 50mm (Prime), 24-120mm, 55-300mm , 20mm (Prime)

Roopa: D750 seemed the obvious choice for me. It’s lightweight and easy to operate on the go. I chose the 24-120mm and 50mm lenses and most especially the 55- 300mm zoom lens which I used for most of the film — because to me, they were the fastest, softest, most compact zooms and gave a smooth sharpness to the picture.


Asst. Dir: Manish Chowdhury

DP:  Manish Chowdhury and Salim Ganguly Format:  1920 x 1080 HD Camera:  NIKON D750

Lens: 20mm (Prime) , 24 - 120mm, 50mm (Prime), 80-200mm

Manish: The actors of our film resembled to me the background figures from Dutch paintings: a little invisible, always in the shade, a bit out of focus, covered with grain. I managed to create pictorial texture of the image by pushing both the Super 20mm film stock and the CMOS sensor. The old, worn-out 50mm & 80-200mm lenses gave us a softer look as compared to the latest generation of primes. I hope that this will help to generate a deeper relation between the viewers and the characters of our film.


Asst. Dir: Gopal Roy

DP:  Manish Chowdhury and Salim Ganguly

Format:  1920 x 1080 HD Camera: NIKON D750

Lens: 50mm (Prime), 80- 200mm, 24- 120mm

Gopal: When shooting exteriors, our lamp was the sun covered with a thick layer of clouds. The interior lighting was based on practicals. We worked with non-professional actors, and with actors with no previous film experience. We were shooting one-take scenes and one-take sequences. The technology behind the filmmaking could not intimidate our actors.


Asst. Dir: Ateswar Mondal

DP:  Manish Chowdhury and Salim Ganguly Format:  1920 x 1080 HD Camera:  NIKON D750

Lens: 24 -120mm, 80- 200mm

Ateswar:  Nikon D750 is very good in low budget movies. We used small equipment because of the indoor scenes and the limited budget we had.


Asst. Dir: Sikha Patra

DP:  Manish Chowdhury and Salim Ganguly Format:  1920 x 1080 HD Camera: NIKON D750

Lens: 20mm (Prime), 50mm (Prime), 80- 200mm

Sikha:  The choice to shoot film became a freeing process to me. Free not in the sense of free from constraints, but the opposite, being subject to the hardness and the laws around shooting film that don’t exist in filmmaking much anymore. We as a crew of all artists all knew our feeling of freedom, of creation and control in our craft, reaches its pinnacle when we have stopped doing anything voluntarily and instead do everything necessary. Film created this sense of necessity, and it made us all stronger and more determined.


Asst. Dir: Salim Ganguly

DP:  Manish Chowdhury and Salim Ganguly Format:  1920 x 1080 HD Camera: NIKON D750

Lens: 20mm (Prime), 50mm (Prime), 24 - 120mm, 80- 200mm,

Salim:  NIKON cameras are, in my opinion, the best option there is, if you have to shoot digital. It has the best reproduction of skin tones, which is very important. I believe the human eye is extremely advanced when it comes to reading another human being’s reactions. Skin has so many colors and tones that other digital cameras, up until now, have had difficulty reproducing in a satisfying way. In this case, the choice of lenses came from the desire to get a good balance between softness and contrast. I’m generally not so fond of the otherwise quite hip soft ’70s look with lots of flares and blue streaks. I guess it depends on the movie, but in this case, this was not what we were after. I like the 16:9 aspect ratio and the way the spherical  lenses have a shallower depth of field. I feel it helps me bring the actors forward in frame, making them stand out from the background.


Life is a stage and we all are actors. Where we keep performing 24*7. This applies to everyone. Every day we are a different person, behave differently at different points of time. And in every character our behaviour-personality keeps changing


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Connect with us and learn film making in Prayasam Visual Basics Studio

You must be aware by now of the fact that our new language is films. Hence to internalize the varied aspects of film, from watching films to discussing about it, we do all- and simultaneously we keep shooting films. We jolly well understand that through films we not only capture our real life in the reels but rather in the process keep building ourselves as well. We sharpen our life skill or soft skill. We try to find parity between our viewpoint on gender or rights and the actual reality. A sense of responsibility quite naturally percolates within us as we now wear the cap of director, editor, production controller, distributor or actor. It seems that somewhere someone, remaining invisible, keep changing our stereotypical and orthodox mentality. And it is through this invisible masterminding that there emerges life-cinema like Abhishar, Sakha or Dhop. To be precise, it can be said that we ourselves are writing our own stories.

Bad and Beautiful World is a film festival that gives national and international student filmmakers the opportunity to participate in a challenging and fun initiative. They can send in their short films to compete for best film during the BBW Festival. The committee will carefully select the best movies, which will be screened at our festival. There is no specific theme for the films topic. During the festival there will be a jury to select the best film overall. The aim is to make students aware of what other students can achieve through film. The short films offer an opportunity to view the world from a different perspective, based on other cultural backgrounds. The unique part of BBW Short Film Festival is that it is a cultural event that is organized by and for national and international students.

Short films are the haiku of cinema. The medium insists that you be rigorous in how much you can speak in the story and in how short a time. It’s a great way to practice your craft. The short film tests the rigour of every medium of cinema. At the moment, Short Film Format is the place to be. Things change from generation to generation. This generation absorbs things faster so they want to express immediately. You have to say a lot in a very short time. In feature films you start telling the story only in the 3rd or 4th reel - first you build up the plot, time is taken to develop characters, there is song and dance and then you come to the actual story. But in the short you just come straight to the point. A short film is a maker’s manner of experiment. It can be very challenging to work in a short format. It has to be hard-hitting, concise and good. What they convey to us within 3-10 minutes, others can take up to three hours. And so like bees to a hive, shorts are attracting amateurs and professionals alike. 

What is feeding the trend is a combination of the following: emerging platforms, new audiences, and a growing demand for content. Both small and prestigious film festivals are now regularly setting aside time slots to accommodate shorts since they garner full houses. Multiplex chains such as PVR are picking up short films and screening them in theatres and viewers are lining up to pay and watch. Numerous online platforms - Humara Movie, Pocket Films, YouTube, Terribly Tiny Tales, Large Short Films, Hot Star and several others – are luring more and more visitors to their sites offering great content for free or nominal subscriptions

Why do Prayasam Visual Basics keep asking for ‘real’ people and not actors? Non-professionals are better because they don’t act. They don’t protect their ability, and they aren’t confused by what acting should or should not be or look like, they just are. This makes them much more natural on screen than people ‘acting’. Professional actors tend to ‘act’, and by act, I mean ‘consciously pretend’. Now they don’t know that they are, because they can’t see their own performance, but if you look, you can see them ‘acting’, you can see them doing it. You see, trying to be a character, is the most self conscious thing you can possibly do, because you are always aware that you are trying to be other than yourself, and you have to consciously be different, making you instantly unnatural. You see, if you want to act for the screen, acting is the very last thing you need to do. The struggle is in representing the character and their journey, but non-professional actors don’t trouble themselves with all the hokey shenanigans that professionals believe help them perform. They simplify rather than complicate. In the world of film and television, we expect to treat what’s happening as absolutely real, so we crave total authenticity, and the camera is very unkind, it will punish you for faking it. This makes the job of the actor even harder, even the camera hates ‘acting’. So when they cast real people, they don’t get that, they don’t get histrionics, they don’t get ‘my method and motivation’ actors, desperate to prove they are artists. Real people just get on with it, without pretend, without fuss, they just do it.

There’s a saying which many of us have heard: "Love like in the movies." But sometimes, real life is the best inspiration for film-makers interested in the subject of love. Incredible love stories happen for real in plenty of people’s lives — the kind of romances which no screenwriter could ever dream up. And sometimes, these experiences become the basis for great movies. There is no “best” romantic movie. Something is funny when someone laughs, or romantic when their heart swells, for better or for worse, and we have no right to say why one of these should top another. The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

This year our 5th Bad and Beautiful World short Film Festival boasts of 8 such short-films.


Our Prayasam creates our “perceptive eye” to identify numerous unrecognized precious talents which are in abundance in our surroundings but are more often than not continue be unacknowledged. Whether we fly off to America or hang around in the lanes of the community- our “searching eyes” keep fuelling our interest. So, for us, every hurdle is like the first rung of the ladder to discover something new. Henceforth, the topic of our adda ranges from cinema to poster or fashion to foreign affairs. Our habitat is our greatest learning storehouse. Every day, every second we learn something or the other. That’s why, for us, Prayasam is a bigger search engine than Google.

Santwana Haldar
Santwana a Student of our VISUAL Basics has worn the Director’s cap for the first time. Her film Phera (Coming Back) deals with father and son relationship.
Sujit Dutta
Sujit one of the senior students of Ontrack. Who has Graduated from MESA Community College, Arizona. His first film Chappa (stamped) on Bullying and Cyber Crime was screened at 14th Mumbai International Film festival in 2016 and in SUNDANCE NEXTFEST in Los Angeles. His second film Hanan (repeated Killing) was screened in Adobe Creative Convene. Sujit is now ready with his third film, Ashomoy (untimely) loosely based on Gabriel García Márquez’s classic Love in the Time of Cholera.
Roopa Biswas
Roopa one of the senior students of Ontrack, Grassroot Human Resource Management Institute. Roopa’s first film Treacher dealt with sexual abuse and it was showcased in MIFF 2016 and was screened in SUNDANCE NEXTFEST in Los Angeles. Her second film was showcased in ILO, Chorabali (quicksand) dealt with trafficking. This year MIFF showcased it as their inaugural film. She this year makes a film on mental dilemma of a young girl aptly titled DUAL.
Manish Chowdhury
Manish an ONTRACK pass out has been Graduated from the North East Wisconsin Technical College. His first film Ahsas on alcoholism screened in MIFF in 2016, then while studying in the US he made a film on racism, Fear…A State of Mind won him critical acclaim. This year Manish brings Sakha (Soulmate) a film which revolves around Love and Sensitivity.
Gopal Roy
Gopal a senior student of ONTRACK is making his third film CHECKMATE on the theme of love and understanding. Gopal this time will be visiting Kenya for four months as a Youth Exchange participant to share and learn about film making from the Kenyan Youth. Gopal’s first film was the DREAM and his second film Niruddesh dealt with self evolution.
Ateswar Mondal
Ateswar a senior student of ONTRACK has worn the Director’s hat after the huge success of his maiden film Bhalo Basha (LOVE NEST). This time he is making a film on relationship. The film is titled Permission.  
Sikha Patra
Sikha one of the senior students of Ontrack, Grassroot Human Resource Management Institute, is making films when she was only 13. Her first film was River of Life…which was showcased in Skoll World Forum in the year 2012 and in Adobe Creative Platform in the year 2013. Her film Gaali on Verbal Abuse was screened in Sundance, Gaali was also screened in MIFF in 2016. This year Sikha is coming with DHOP or bluff based on body shaming.  
Salim Shekh
Salim one of the senior students of Ontrack, Grassroot Human Resource Management Institute. He is basically a cinematographer and a portrait photographer. Who has Graduated from Scottsdale Community College, Arizona. His maiden film, Aste Ladies (Slow Down Ladies) based on Gender Stereo types was screened in MIFF 2016 and was screened in SUNDANCE NEXTFEST in Los Angeles. He has edited more than 80 films so far. His last film Inamorata had won the third prize under Artists of Promise category in Scottsdale Short Film Festival. This year he brings Abhishar (rendezvous) which deals with the eternal theme of love and longings.


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