Mid March, when India entered what eventually would be known as the largest lockdown in human history, millions were forced to stall their work, businesses and more. The creative arts and film industry too wasn’t an exception. Independent short film creators, artists and thousands others who rely on a continuously growing industry and audience were terribly affected, leaving them confused, demoralized and in need for inspiration.
At this time producer and director Kamal Nathani mooted a novel idea and launched UVAA VIRTUAL FILM FESTIVAL. UVFF2020 India’s first online film festival for independent short film makers was curated during Lockdown. It was open for submission of entries from 10th May to 14th June 2020.
Initially Kamal Nathani was apprehensive as to how people would react to the concept but UVFF gave filmmakers across the globe a platform to showcase their talent. Not only did people submit their ready films but many people especially made films on COVID and other categories and submitted in UVFF 2020. There have been 50+ entries in various categories from UK, USA, Australia and Bangladesh apart from India in just a span of 35 days.
Kamal Nathani curated with himself, a cohort of eminent personalities from multiple fields like Environment, Social activist, Literary People, Theatre, Art, Music, Senior Technicians, Films etc. to be on the panel of judges and patrons. Parul Chawla ensured an extensive outreach through a carefully planned a social-media outreach program that led to an average of 2.3 entries a day in UVFF.
UVFF’s created this opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their work and reach out to the right jury members and audiences world over thereby getting one step closer to receiving recognition for their art. The Awards will be declared on 30th June2020 on the film freeway website.
The best thing happened top the film makers all over was the excitement for the submission and the hope for something positive in this depressing lockdown time. The stalwarts of the film Industry and the Business Industry acknowledged the effort of Kamal Nathani and endorsed the UVFF2020 by sending their bytes and good wishes. These celebrities include Satish Kaushik, Preeti Jhangiani, Pankaj Berry, Gautam Dutta(CEO PVR), TP Aggarwal (IMPPA), Anil Nagrath (IMPPA), CP Gurnani (MD Tech Mahindra), Anurag Batra (Chairman Business world), Rabindra Narayan (PTC Network) to name a few.
Some of the award winners will be requested for an on line interview or to provide the festival with a BTS or award acceptance video statement to be published in the UVFF website.
UVFF2020 offered seven different categories to the filmmakers to send their entries. These seven categories were; Best Film (Fiction), Best Film (Non Fiction), Best Film (Social), Best Film (Environment), Best Film (Covid-19), Best Film (Foreign Language) and Best Film (Music Video).
UVFF 2020 is a 100% non-profitable entity. A tie up is done with AHRI an Assam based NGO who is working in the interiors of Assam with the various communities to fight the COVID19 cause. Any profits from the festival will proceed as donations towards helping the millions fight this fight against COIVD-19.
After the success of this festival Kamal Nathani says that “the response is so overwhelming that I have already started getting calls from many film makers for the next season. I am seriously thinking of the next film festival and would announce on the day we wrap up this one.”