Former students’ short film to be screened at film fest in Germany

jonny greenwald.jpg

Jonny greenwald

Shyam Kannapurakkaran.jpg

Shyam Kannapurakkaran

Ganesh Rao.jpg

Ganesh Rao

Aparupa Chatterjee

Aparupa Chatterjee

An award-winning, 3-D short film created by two former Texas A&M visualization students has been selected for screening in a prestigious German film festival.

The film, “Tarang,” directed by Jonny Greenwald ’09, with visual effects by Shyam Kannapurakkaran ’10, is a four-minute video collage of a traditional Indian dance. It will be screened during the April 30 – May 5, 2015 International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany.

“The festival is a discoverer of new trends and talent as well as one of the most important short film institutions anywhere in the world,” said its director, Lars Henrik Glass.

The film’s cubist visual style was inspired by the work of artist David Hockney, who frequently depicted scenes in collages made of a patchwork of images.

“We knew that Hockney had already created a video version of his collage concept, but we wanted to create a piece that explored time and perspective in a more expressive form,” said Greenwald. “This is the first time the dance has been filmed and represented as a 3-D collage.”

The film features the dancing and choreography of Aparupa Chatterjee with a music mix created by Ganesh Rao, ’11, also a former viz student.

The filmmakers used a camera on a custom platform made by Kannapurakkaran at the college’s Automated Fabrication & Design Lab to capture nine performances by Chatterjee, who added variety to the dance with each take.

“‘Tarang’ is the culmination of her performances in a single, flowing piece,” said Greenwald. “During editing, I capitalized on the cohesion or fragmentation in her movements to tell the story that I felt the dance and music were trying to communicate.”

The film is a re-edit of a student project Greenwald and Kannapurakkaran originally made in 2010 with guidance and critiques from Karen Hillier, now a professor emerita of visualization.

“Emerging from a quiet beginning, the film’s visual and aural rhythms build to create a complex array of simultaneous points of view,” she said.

The film won the LA3D Film Festival’s Ro-Man Bronze Award in 2012, the Best Experimental Project award in the Hollywood 3-D Film Festival in 2011 and the NVIDIA Immersive Visualization Challenge Award at Texas A&M in 2010.

"Tarang" has also screened at numerous film festivals in previous years, including the 2012 Big Bear Lake Film Festival.

posted March 25, 2015