What happened in the last five days for the 53-Hour Challenge is groundbreaking for the film industry in India: Shorts TV CEO

The 53-Hour Challenge launched as part of “75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow” programme at IFFI 53 in Goa announced its winner today. The 75 Creative Minds selected from over 1,000 applicants, were divided into 5 teams of 15 each, each of which produced a short film on their idea of India@100, in just 53 hours. This segment of IFFI 53 has been powered by National Film Development Corporation in collaboration with Shorts TV.

Commending the Creative Minds, CEO of Shorts TV Carter Pilcher has said: “What happened in the past 5 days is ground-breaking for the entire film industry in India. The names were announced for 75 Creative Minds on November 4th, and in the last 20 days they have brainstormed, connected on Zoom, and shot an entire film.”


Pilcher told the audience how the 5 teams interpreted the challenge of looking at India in 2047 differently. “One was about futuristic technology and how it disenfranchises relationships and the importance of relationships, another one was about New India and about a woman whose husband’s family wants her to wear a nose ring at their engagement, and has an interesting and hopeful statement. The third film is about an interesting film where all parents are single parents, and the child discovers that it might be possible to have either a mom or a dad. Another film is a beautiful film about a world where paper currency has disappeared.”

The films have come out amazingly well, informs Pilcher. “Every single one of them had something in it that was absolutely amazing. Many of the directors are from parts of the country which do not get to be highlighted.”

Pilcher says he was terrified before watching the films. “It is very scary for me to have my name on five films and not know what was happening. They could all be terrible.” Yet today morning, when they saw the film`, the jury were blown over when they saw 5 amazing films, as every one of them had something unique in each of them.

Speaking about Dear Diary, the winning film, Pilcher said that it is the story of a girl who was abused and 20 years ago, in 2047, her sister comes home and goes to the same place and her sister realizes that India has become a better place for women. “The beauty of the film is that it can tell very deep truths and reach them into their minds and provoke thought, and bring us together than send us away.”

Pilcher informed that even the manner the five teams chose to spend money was different, as one team spent on local talent, one on hiring equipment, and one on technology. He threw light as to how as the 53 hours progressed, the pressure increased, the bonding between the teammates became stronger, with all of them learning about their own skills as well as those of their teammates. He spoke about the challenges faced by the participants in the last 53 Hours – sleepless nights, shooting in limited daylight, developing a comfortable working relationship with each other, and a budget of $ 1,000 each.”

Pilcher credited the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur for the idea of the 53-Hour Challenge. “It was entirely his brainwave, and it turned out to be an amazing idea with the way things have turned out in this challenge.”

Pilcher said that the 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow programme is a fabulous event. “We have done more in five days to bring India and the world together, in a way which was probably never been done before.”

On the way forward for 75 Creative Minds, he said that all 5 films will be telecast on Shorts TV on Sunday, the 27th of November 2022, at 9 PM. He also spoke of how Shorts TV has been instrumental in accrediting Short Film Festival entries in India with the Academy, including these 5 films which will be eligible for an Oscar nomination. All 75 Creative Minds were under 35, and most of them were already filmmakers who hadn’t had their big break yet. The aim of Shorts TV is the same as that of 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow programme, i.e., to give talent an opportunity, a platform, and a leg-up in the film industry, he informed.


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