One of our independent productions, short film Free Basics, is part of the official selection for the 20th anniversary edition of ZIFF.
Now in it’s 20th year, ZIFF has become well established on the international film festival circuit, earning its place on the map as one of the greatest film festivals Africa has to offer.
Fabrizio Columbo, festival director speaks about the special theme for this year’s festival – FINDING JOY / KUSIKIA FURAHA
“The island of Zanzibar is a crossroads where arts, visions and stories of hope for the future meet. The festival, with courage, has challenged culture, politics, society, religions with multiple themes but above all with CINEMA. And this always with one idea in mind … we all can make a better world.”
No stranger to the festival, Free Basics director Amitabh Aurora had four of his Swahili language feature films screened at the festival in 2012.
Aurora speaks about the news…
“It’s great to be nominated at my home ground with a Hindi film for the first time! Thanks for the support from cast and crew!”
You can read more about the festival and the other great films selected by clicking the link below:
We would all have to have our heads planted firmly in the sand if we haven’t noticed that brands are switching to online video to communicate with their customers in both the B2B and B2C spheres. Indeed, much of this content has shifted far away from the traditional TVC style advert and we are seeing everything from sponsored web-serieses to music videos popping onto our screens. Brands are now wide awake to the fact that content needs to be engaging, use storytelling and everyone is thinking out of the box. Anyone left in the box is being left far, far behind.
If you are reading this then I can safely assume I’m preaching to the converted. However, have you stopped to consider why you should make an online video for a reason completely unrelated to marketing and sales? Fun? Money to burn? Secret ambition to be the next Spielberg (or the next Salman Khan)? Not really likely to get the nod from the boss.
Recently we produced a corporate AV for Pharma company Unichem (see the film below). It wasn’t for sales and it wasn’t for any of the crazy reasons above though the last one is the closest to the mark. The truth is, every employee deserves their five minutes of fame. In our film we told the personal stories of several Unichem employees. They are the heroes in the film and every one of them at reached that status with the support of the company they work for.
In large corporate companies employees are distributed over a wide expanse, sometimes across multiple countries. They are the TG because they are the backbone of any corporate. To function well they need to be strong and connected. Such films are much more than just morale boosters – they have an active impact that reinforces the brand’s image within its workforce which can only rub off onto the outside. It’s a showcase for achievement and loyalty that reduces attrition rates (Indian Pharma has the worst attrition rate globally). It unites head office with ground force.
To add to the bonus of it all, these videos can be used at internal and external events, in training and recruitment seminars and of course online beyond the intranet of the company- this as a most-wanted side effect means marketing-by-proxy and progressive brand positioning.
As mentioned before we don’t need to talk about the communication and engagement perks of video and why it is effective over other forms of communication. We do need to talk about the necessity of online video as part of a successful HR programme. HR in itself when taken out of the office and onto YouTube can secure a corporate a edge again the competition in top position as an industry thought leader and other companies will no doubt follow in your tracks behind.
#Free Basics, is a dark comedy short film told as a modern fable. In a dystopian world where every person in India gets free basic Internet access provided by Facebook (only certain sites), the rapid and haphazard technological development and growth creates a ruckus in the life of the villagers. Adding to the hot debate surrounding internet.org, digital equality and net neutrality this is a must watch for all comedy film and intelligent film lovers. A film which entertains but makes you think too.
Director Amitabh Aurora speaks about his film:
“The film raises a question that in a country where there are no proper roads , water supply , education system and electricity supply, is calling free internet service for only a few specific websites a basic need? Also it touches upon the topic of cultural effects of such a sudden step in this country , where women are still in a veil in villages, will their men watching bikini clad babe’s profiles on FB not screw up their mental psyche? It touches upon the topics of sociology, urbanization etc in a very light hearted and entertaining way in the form of a satire.”
With a star cast including a cameo from Shraddha Das (Dil to baccha hai ji, Zid, Great Grand Masti, Arya 2, Nagavalli), K P Nishan (Ritu, Apurva Raagam, Cycle Kick, David and Badlapur Boys, Namam Gramam, Manorama) and TV actress Jaishree Venkatramanan (Been banuga ghodi chadoonga, Na Boley tum na maine kuch kana).
Our new short film tackles the age old debate of city vs city, made relevant by the current atmosphere of intolerance and prejudice both in India and globally. With a pinch of humour we meet two guys at a party who get into a debate as to who’s city is the best – who will win – Delhi or Mumbai? Place your bets now!
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