Singapore-made, award-winning short film, Mini, is now on YouTube. The film is made by debutant director, Uma Kalyani, and stars award-winning actress and Global Indian International School student, Eka Shukla, in a leading role. The film is one of eight films of the Black Dabba Productions x The Navya Project collaboration (#BDNPJump) and also marks the debut of Remya Warrier as Director of Photography.
Mini is a 7-minute short film in English, which follows the little adventures in Mini’s world, as she pursues her passion to solve mysteries. Readers can view Mini on the Kathaah Productions YouTube Channel (http://bit.ly/MINIthefilm).
The film was an Official Selection at the recent Ahmedabad International Children Film Festival (AICFF), where 8-year-old Eka Shukla also won the award for Best Child Actor. The Festival is one of the few children-centric film festivals in India, and presented a selection of 60 narrative films and 4 documentary films as part of its 2020 iteration.
Mini also stars Aishwarya Kumar, Shivanu Shukla and Kabir Khanna in supporting roles, and is written by award-winning filmmaker, Shilpa Krishnan Shukla, who is known for her most recent works – DOTS (world’s first feature film made during the global COVID-19 lockdown), Kathaah@8 (world’s first film made in 8 Indian regional language) and Tashi (NETPAC-nominated). Shilpa most recently emerged the Global Winner of the Zee5 Global Content Festival and her films are now streaming on the OTT platform.
Mini marks the directorial debut of Singapore resident, Uma Kalyani. Uma is also a native of Kerala and has been working closely with Shilpa over the last three years. Her role as Assistant Director in Kathaah@8 marked her first venture into filmmaking. She has since supported film projects in many other aspects of filmmaking, including on-location sound. She is also a judge for the short film competition at the ongoing iteration of the UK Asian Film Festival. Uma’s next film project is Smrisha, a short film also made by Shilpa Krishnan Shukla.
Uma is a graduate in Forensic Science and currently works in a private firm. She is a trained classical dancer in Bharatnatyam and Mohiniattam, and has appeared in various stage shows and television programme. Her passions include photography, trekking and watching films.
Also making her debut with Mini is Remya Warrier as the film’s Director of Photography. Remya is a wildlife photographer, travel entrepreneur and self-taught cake artist. Remya managed the publicity stills for the Malayalam online sitcom Athazam, directed by Shilpa, and made her debut as Chief Assistant Director for Shilpa’s award-winning feature film, Tashi (2018). She was also Assistant Director on Kathaah@8.
Readers can also watch an interview with the Cast and Crew of Mini, moderated by actor and dancer, Gayathri Gopal, on the BDNPJump Facebook page: fb.com/bdnpjump.
Mini is co-produced by Black Dabba Productions (initiative by Shilpa and Shivanu Shukla) and The Navya Project (initiative by Mansi Maheshwari Patel and Viral Patel), two initiatives collaborating to nurture independent filmmaking talent in Singapore. The collaboration (dubbed #BDNPJump) introduces eight debut directors. Apart from Uma, the other debut Directors are:
– Aditya Mazumdar (film: Neelambari)
– Balaraman Kunduvara (film: Navrasa)
– Charan Singh (film: Dost)
– Gautam Marathe (film: Butterflies)
– Sai Pogaru (film: Dad)
– Viral Patel (film: Aerogrammes)
– Mathew Jenif Joseph (film: Vesta, released)
All eight directors have received guidance on various aspects of filmmaking – from story-boarding, to editing and post-producition, as well as marketing and communications. To get early access to updates and content related to the films, join the ‘Friend of BDNPJump’ community here: http://bit.ly/friendsofbdnp.
The first of the eight films – Vesta – was released in April 2020. In 2019, much before COVID-19 struck and people were confined to their homes, this project was kicked-off with one small idea – to make a film with actors from different parts of the world – with no script, no screenplay, no rehearsals but just one simple concept. The actors developed their own stories and shot all the videos themselves based on one concept – that Asteroid Vesta was going to hit earth in 7 days. Vesta can be viewed at https://youtu.be/u_lhsJKnJtk.