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Tamanna: Indian Short Films

 

I didn’t know that an event I was covering was also hosting the music launch of this short film named Tamanna. When their singer, composer and lyricist Chaitanya Vyas took to the mike; I was left in a trance. I woke up after the consistent applaud from the live audience in the hall. The next thing I know, I was talking to the entire team and getting to know about their film. I called them over for an interview the very next day and it has been one of the most fruitful conversations I have ever had.

Tamanna is a film that has a heart beating within it. The cast and crew of the film settle on seats around me. It takes seconds for me to feel the positive vibes from every person sitting next to me. For people who have accomplished a lot more than their age, they are an extremely humble team.

I ask the writer and director Bhrugesh Amin on his thoughts behind the film’s title and plot.

It’s a story on love and relationships and how two individuals strive to make things work despite of the caste and class differences. I named it Tamanna because it’s the name of the female protagonist in my film; it also works as a pun since Tamanna means desire. I clubbed both and came up with the title.

He smiles.

For a 21 year old guy, Bhrugesh is extremely soft spoken, focused, experienced and breathes direction/writing in and out.

What made you produce this film?” I ask Jalpa Surti, the producer of the film.

I am always looking for something new for business. I already have an event company called Jal Events with Chaitanya Vyas and Manoj Kaklotar. For someone like me who is constantly on the go, it’s very difficult to sit in a movie theatre for two hours and watch a film. I am a short films addict. I watch short films at home every night. When I heard Bhrugesh’s script, I was intrigued and immediately decided to produce the film.

It’s so inspiring to look at women expanding the horizons of possibilities.

In fact their assistant director (Shilpa Jhawar) and set designer (Rutu Bhavsar) are another example of how women are taking the front seat in shaping their careers the way they want. In spite of all the doubts and opinions thrown at them for their career choices these women are going strong.

I ask their lead actress Samvedna Suvalka on what got her to take up Tamanna’s role and how was the experience over all.

“Would you believe me if I told you that apart from the script, director and the team, one of the reasons was that I really liked is the name Tamanna and connection I felt with it? Of course what really got me to do the film was the script. It is a story about those moments in life where your one decision can change everything. I like complex situations like these wrought with emotion. And also when I saw Bhrugesh’s passion and dedication, I was stumped. I just had to say a yes. Let me tell you this was one of the best experiences. It was lovely!  Bhrugesh’s team is very passionate and hard working. I love working with people who take their art seriously. We shot for almost 43 hours in 2 days with just a couple of hours of sleep. We survived because of the team spirit. I also got to explore a little bit of Surat and made some friends here!”

I keep staring at the team when I hear they finished the shoot in about two days flat! It’s like what Chandler says, “I mean bullets have left guns slower!”

I am not surprised when their film’s hero Deep Dholakia has similar thoughts to share about his experience. He plays the character named Neel and I ask him what made him choose the script.

“There are many reasons I have, not one. I loved the script and the character very much. I felt that it’s a part of my life; that told me that the audience will surely connect to the film. It’s real, it’s honest, and it’s cute. Everyone has special memories with their first love, and that memory is Tamanna. So it appealed to me from the core; I am very passionate about the film and the character. Second reason was the director. Bhrugesh is a well-versed director from a training school, and moreover he is a friend since he was a kid, we played games together so I was supremely excited to rewind the journey from a same team in the game to the same team in the film. And one reason was Tamanna herself, I mean actress Samvedna who plays Tamanna. I loved her work in Bey Yaar so teaming up with her was an exciting thought. I have a long list, but I guess they will keep everyone up all night.”

I can feel the excitement in his tone. I am sure that experience must have been rewarding, but I want to hear it all from his words.

“For me, the shoot is always the most exciting. I am so passionate for acting that I just love to perform in front of the camera. The team of Tamanna is so dedicated, that you don’t feel tired even after shooting for 46 hours out of 48 hours. Actors got 2 hours of rest, but the rest of the team didn’t rest at all, that’s impressive. So when you see a passion driven team, you will enjoy every bit of the shoot. And not to forget the producers, the finest producers I have ever worked with. They took care of us as a family and they were always there when they were needed. They have given us our creative freedom which is rare in producers. Usually producers tend to interrupt in the film. So overall it was a wonderful experience shooting for Tamanna. And I am 100% sure; everything that I have said here will be communicated through the film as well. You will like the honesty of the film, you will like the genuine effort of the film and you will feel it’s your own story. That’s the kind of response we are looking for.” 

For somebody who has watched so many actors rave about their films, this guy is the most honest I have known by far.

I talk to Chaitanya Vyas, the music singer, composer and lyricist of the film. He shares how he happened to meet Bhrugesh at an event. Chaitanya already had composed a song long back; when Bhrugesh heard it, he knew that it had to be a part of his film. It’s the first time that the brilliant singer bagged a chance to present his potential before the world to his full extent. Believe me, Chaitanya’s voice is enthralling. You need to watch out for this guy. He’s already on my list for a feature story!

Many of you must be wondering why one needs a song or any of the other hassles for a short film; but that’s the beauty here. “A film is a film and must not be judged by its length.” This is something that I learnt from this fantastic team of youngsters. They organized a poster launch for their film at DRB College in Surat, a music launch at NIEM College Idol 2105 and are planning to do various screenings of the film. Contrary to popular short film culture, wherein they are made and uploaded on Youtube, these guys want to participate in several short film festivals in India and change the face of short films in the country.

The team already has a couple of other projects in the pipeline that they plan to work on very soon.

As a writer, I see immense scope in the kind of things they want to offer to the state of Gujarat, India and the world of cinema at large. As a lecturer, I feel proud to see my former student Manoj Kaklotar chasing his dreams and exploring challenging, but exciting possibilities with such a fantastic team.

As I walk out of the café, I see all of them waving back at me; and a thought hits me hard. I believed I was interviewing Tamanna’s cast and crew, I was wrong, I interviewed Tamanna’s family.

Tamanna

Writer & Director: Bhrugesh Amin

Producer: Jalpa Surti

Actors: Samvedna Suvalka, Deep Dholakia and Dhaval Patel

Screenplay & 1st Assistant Directors: Tahera Misri

Line Producer: Manoj Kaklotar

Singer, Composer, Lyricist: Chaitanya Vyas

Music: Rubin Desai (The R Productions)

Editor: Payal Mirani

Cinematographer: Hiren Kandia (also Director of Photography)

Set Designer: Rutu Bhavsar

Assistant Director: Shilpa Jhawar

 

Good luck to team Tamannna!