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Trichy-based Arudra’s short film ‘93 not out’ makes waves

Sixty eight awards and counting. The debut short film of a budding engineer-turned-filmmaker from Trichy has been going places literally. Titled '93 not out', the 20-minute film by Arudra Saravana Kumar portrays the aspirations of a 93-year-old man played by his own grandfather.

The film which had a houseful show at Star theatre on Tuesday may perhaps be the first short film to be screened in a cinema hall in the state with tickets. Conceived as a motivational film, it runs on a simple storyline — of an old man aspiring to ride a bicycle surmounting the travails of his age. The film's many honours include being adjudged the best short film at NCCC film and animation festival Los Angeles, New York Audience award for best short category at Praxis film festival, USA, jury mention at seventh Dada Saheb Phalke film festival 2017 at New Delhi and three awards including best director, best actor and best short film at the international short film festival at Haryana.
The film has already earned the maker Rs 3 lakh by way of screenings at film festivals in US and other countries in the past one year. Apart from his family and friends who helped him to make the short film, the theatre had a sizeable crowd of those who saw the film trailer on Youtube and had come to watch its screening.
Arudra says that the film was made with the help of college students and amateur Youtubers and he had to spend money only on the camera. "People are ready to watch good short films in theatres than in YouTube. The crowd in the theatre is the proof," he said. A mechanical engineer who passed out from JJ College of Engineering, Trichy, Arudra's film making aspirations had vanished soon after his graduation. It could be revived only a decade after his marriage and when he was looking after his business.
"Short films have the potential to pull crowds to theatre if made in a proper way," he says adding that the acceptance level though was low for those from the small city. The short film has proved a gateway for him to Tamil cinema where he is assisting film maker Vijay Milton. Arudra recalls that it all started with a small handicam that he got as gift for his marriage. It took him 52 Sundays to shoot the film with his 92-year-old grandfather in the lead.


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