Director: Abhijeet Parthiyal
Genre: Short Fiction
When our parents used to say that school is the best place you could be, all of us brushed it aside and never realized then what it meant. Now as when we look back, we realize that statement stood true to its core. Khurafat, directed by Abhijeet Phartiyal, is an ode to those carefree and innocent days of childhood that is sure to leave one feeling nostalgic and warm in the heart.
The film is set around an hour of activity which takes us through a trip of nostalgia and mischief of a few students. The movie revolves around two friends that tear up a drawing in the art-room after being sarcastically taunted by the art teacher for having caught the class misbehaving. The monitor of the class, whom the two detest, catches them in the course of the act and threatens to report them to the teacher.
In a classic incident of school kids throwing weak punches at each other to express their annoyance, the three get engrossed in a fight while the other kids try to stop them. When the teacher enquires about the torn drawing, one of them admits to having torn it and is then sent to redo the drawing. What transpires next creates the crux of the short film. The film is about the innocent and true friendship of two schoolmates who get into trouble and stick together through the thick and thin of regular school life while the monitor tries to push them into further trouble.
The ambience created by the colour palette of the location that the film is set in provides a soothing effect on the eye and creates a sense of warmth that radiates to the onlooker. The ever-imposing fear of getting caught by the teacher but they want to create chaos and have fun, which in hindsight seem to remain as the best memories, all unintentionally created in the spirit of comradery is what this movie is all about.
The gossip of the teachers provides for some comic relief as they criticize other people in a classic Indian way. This film is not what a conventional movie goer would seek to watch as entertainment, but it proves to be more than that. It is a simple story of an innocent friendship but in that, it is set in a way that connects to the most cherished memories of a person, that of one’s childhood.
The film released in 2016 has received much love and appreciation among many film festivals that it was screened including the Dharamshala International Film Festival, SIGNS Festival in Thrissur, Bangalore International Short Film Festival and Smile International Film Festival for Children and Youth in New Delhi.
Screened at CAFF in 2018, Khurafat has received a great response from the crowd. CAFF has had many such beautiful films over its course and this year will be of no expectations. CAFF is back this year with more expressive indie cinema like this that will leave you in awe of the art of storytelling and filmmaking. Be a part of CAFF’21 and experience the brilliance of cinema.
By Debajit Sarkar