Film making


From the recurrence of several ‘misogynistic incidents’ perpetrated by society members, negligence of supervision, to ‘targeted bullying’, we uncover the dark side of Sri Venkateshwara College’s Film-making Society, ‘Effulgence Films’.

Sri Venkateshwara College’s film-making society, ‘Effulgence Films’, is one of the reputed societies within the Delhi University circuit, with several productions across the year. However, beyond the disguise of ‘galaxies of creativity’ lies the truth about the ‘toxic and horrible’ working space that society provides, as several sources allege.

Flashing back to January of the present year, a student from Sri Venkateshwara College, in conversation with DU Beat, claims that a ‘highly problematic incident’ took place within the society circle, which was reported to the Internal Complaints Committee with the signatures of several students within the society. Following this, several members of the society who were ‘traumatised’ by the event left the society. The Internal Complaints Committee of the college, after conducting a six month-long sequence of hearings, removed the perpetrators from the society in June- two of them, who were also a part of the core within the FilmSoc.

Moreover, the other societies within the college had also released a Statement of Condemnation following the ‘horrible incident’. Some parts of it read as follows:

As of today, 11 members of Effulgence, The Filmmaking society of SVC have taken the decision to leave the society post after a series of events over the course of the past few months.

There has been a culture of toxicity pervasive in Filmsoc centred around misogyny. Female directors and writers were constantly spoken over and have had projects taken over by arrogant men whose memberships weren’t removed even after being given repeated warnings as they were considered “cherished assets”. The general nature with which women who spoke up were treated, how female members of the core were called “token women” and mocked behind their backs, called trash “to be cleaned out,” and how instances of objectification were treated as dismissible, is utterly appalling.

However, despite being legally removed from the society by the college ICC, the perpetrators continued to be a part of official FilmSoc events like the recent Indian Film Project (IFP), openly participating in film shootings and so on.

“The convenor of the society was also present throughout the ICC hearings. However, no action was taken against the perpetrators re-entering society-circles despite being banned by the ICC.”

A student at SVC.

Despite legal procedures kicking in and several call-outs, the society space still remains a home ground of toxicity, with rampant groupism, the core isolating other core members, targeted bullying, and the list goes on.

 “The new core has also been formed out of the friends of the previous perpetrators, who are extremely close with each other and sideline the work and opinions of other members. The society has two Presidents and one of them was removed by the core for speaking out against their sexist behaviour. It is a horrible space to work for women, and if anybody raises their voice, they condemn it with “Zyada woke mat bano!” (Don’t be too woke).”

Sources within SVC.

Students also claim that the Filmmaking society has been a trap for this cycle of toxicity for several years, but recent events show that ‘they can do anything and everything and get away with it’. Members are not given due credit for their ideas if they are not too close with the core, and the January incident is often shoved under the carpet with “Ek hi incident tha, forget about it!” (It was just one incident,;forget about it!).

“But that one incident left so many within and without the society traumatised.”

alleges a student at SVC.

Pin-pointing at this culture of toxicity, the statement of condemnation further elaborates that:

“The focus of the society has also severely detracted from filmmaking, with the creatives constantly undermined and put second to those with logistics prowess. Apart from this, the dirty politics of keeping friends of friends in power as well as recruiting and raising many inactive members within the society just for the “vibes” were unjust and demotivating.”

Hitherto, coming to the “vibes”, the society has also been proving to be an unfair space for the freshers and new-recruits who are unaware of the ongoing-climate of the FilmSoc.

“Considering how freshers are new to the college climate, all societies in the college must strive to create a safe atmosphere for them, as freshers are unaware of the power dynamics existing within societies and are desperate to do anything in order to join the society. However, in an ice-breaking event of the FilmSoc, freshers were asked to go down on their knees and propose to seniors and dance with them, which could be uncomfortable for any newbie in college.”

– a student at SVC.

Moreover, students also pin-point several ‘triggering instances’ taking place during the recruitment process of the FilmSoc as well:

“The core members were drunk during the recruitment process and were openly consuming alcohol. Also, the interview questions were nowhere related to FilmSoc, and they were like, “Are you into drugs?”, “Do you drink?” or “Do you have a flat where we can party?”. What sort of climate is this society going to provide to the new-comers?”

The Internal Complaints Committee of the college claims that no incidents were reported after the procedures of the January incident. However, students claim that they were too ‘traumatised and triggered’ to have the courage to talk about such incidents in fear of ‘targeted bullying’.

The Statement of Condemnation concludes by saying that:

“We have time and again tried our best to endure everything and work professionally with these people. However, we were disrespected amongst their circles and within the larger society. So, at the very least, we seek to make this public now, as it is only fair that in the future, people will be aware of the culture that permeates this society and cognizant of the environment they are interacting with.”

While societies form an integral part of the ‘DU culture’ and a beneficial part of the self-development and growth during college years, unhealthy spaces can leave a lasting impression on many. It is imperative to raise your voice against unjust practices and foster safe spaces within campus.

Read Also: North-Eastern Student of Hindu College Faces Racially-Motivated Attack

Featured Image Credits: Arush Gautam for DU Beat

Priyanka Mukherjee

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Here is my review of Tu (you), a short film by Royals Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films starring Sayani Gupta and Arjun Radhakrishnan.

Tu, a short film directed by Rahul Nangia, is a meticulously crafted tale of two ill-fated lovers told in under eight minutes. In its run time, it successfully establishes the relationship and its conflict. The tonality and lighting are dark, their space seems claustrophobic, the blatant intimacy between the two leading characters in the opening shot itself makes you uncomfortable, and ever since the beginning, the audience understands that their relationship is doomed.

The film runs on a single string conversation between the two lovers where the writers have brilliantly woven their love story which unfolds in front of your eyes. Over the course of this conversation, you realise that her name is Supriya, while he is a Murtaza; that their inconspicuous meetings are going on for a long time now; that she is the one who is rebellious (because she arranges the rooms for their meetings); that he is utterly scared of his father and works at his shop; that she is engaged to another person; that he is still economically dependent on his father (his phone is taken away because the bill was INR 3,000) and even though all this is an age-old, monotonous, repetitive conflict you still become completely invested in their story.

Visually, the short film aims at making you aware of the couple’s comfortable relationship. Throughout the film, we only see the two characters totally invested into each other, giving us a closer look at their bond which further fuels our pity for them. In the midst of this, using the narrative of them watching their old video at Mumbai’s Lover’s Point, out in the open, under the blue sky, near the uncontrollable waves of the sea and away from their present situation works wonders for the film. It symbolises the naivety of love, which transforms into a complex cacophony when it transcends the societal demands and rules.

The ending is ambiguous, but anyone can complete the story without any faults because it is a story which has been told a million times, one which we all have heard, read or watched. The last sequence leading up to the end shows the two characters panic-stricken, running around in their limited space, the rebellious girl finding an escape while the scared boy all set to face the reality, with their wobbly voices running in the background. You can hear the tears in their voices and the rawness of their fear. Herein, again, the screen miraculously cuts back to that happy video, making our heart sore for the hopeless lovers. The video has a cinematic zoom-in and out between timelines.

In its short run time, Tu is successful at making you feel things for the poor couple, a feat that many-a-times even 3-hour long Bollywood Romances are unable to achieve. Watch it for its simplicity in storytelling, sincere and honest filmmaking and utterly graceful performances by the lead characters.


Image Credits: Film Companion



Sakshi Arora

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Alerting all theatre groups and dramatics societies! Here is an opportunity to display your talent on a platform that caters to a bigger cause!

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre (www.kalamcentre.org) announces the National E-Street Play Championship, a one-of-a-kind initiative that aims to involve the youth in raising awareness about issues that can transform our country into a superpower.

In the first phase, the street theatre groups and dramatics societies will submit video entries online on any one of the following three themes:

  • Water as a crisis in India
  • Increasing the green cover
  • Extraterrestrial life

The shortlisted teams will perform at a prime location in Delhi in front of an audience of celebrities and citizens. Lastly, the basis of the first round of evaluation and online reach of the videos, one team from each category will win the National Championship Trophy from an esteemed panel of Judges at the Kalam Liveable Planet Conclave, which will include public figures, celebrities, and the notable board members of Kalam Centre. Previous guests have included eminent personalities like Dr. Kailash Satyarthi (Nobel Laureate), Ms. Dia Mirza (Actor), Ms. Kiran Bedi  (Retired Indian Police Service Officer), and Shri Anand Kumar (Founder, Super 30).

How to participate:

The videos should be in .mp4 format in either of the following forms:

  1. Short Skit (2-5 minutes)
  2. Full-length Street Play ( 5-12 minutes)
  • The last date for filling the form and submitting the video is 5th July 2018.
  • Registration is free of cost


Apply now to make a difference!


A second-year student of Economics from Jesus and Mary College, Antara Rao, starred in a short film, Asthi, that got selected in Court Métrage (Short Film Corner) at the Cannes Film Festival 2018. DU Beat interviews her as she shares her experience of starring in the film and how she looks forward to spending her time in Cannes. Here are some excerpts from the chat: 

Q. How was your experience of starring in the short film? What is it about?

The film was shot for a week in January this year. My dad (Dinkar Rao, fimmaker of Asthi) told me about the concept of this movie – it’s about a girl who is struggling to let go of her mother’s ashes, and I really thought it was a novel idea. The character I portrayed goes by herself to Haridwar and begins looking at things the way her mother would have looked and felt. There’s a sort of silence attached to everything that she’s doing, and in fact in the 15-minute version there’s hardly any dialogues. Because of the theme and silence, you can see the contemplation in her head.

The shooting took place in Haridwar – in the marketplace, the ghats, and the river. The weather was really good, the winter was wearing off, it was neither too cold nor too hot, and the river was very clean at this point.

I also met an astrologer and I was so fascinated as they seemed to have records of every person who has existed. I got to explore Indian culture on a very grassroot level.

Q. Since when have you been interested in theatre? Do you have any plans of pursuing it in the future?

I did a play last year of a girl based in Kashmir, who wanted to do MBA but couldn’t because of the curfew situation. In the past, I joined a training course by Barry John. Plus, my dad is a filmmaker, so I know what film acting is like. I’ve done acting in a few films in school as well. I’m generally very interested in arts like philosophy and journalism which require people-oriented skills. Acting and filmmaking is something that I definitely want to pursue.

Q. What do you think about the culture of filmmaking in Delhi University? What can be done to improve it?

Filmmaking is still a niche concept in DU and enough people don’t do it. The kind of exaggeration that is often present in theatre is not as important in filmmaking, and subtlety plays a major role here. Theatre is important in the sense that there’s an experience we need to have beyond digital media. Since we spend so much time on our phones, theatre is real in a certain sense, but in filmmaking, you can communicate nuances effortlessly. It’s a beautiful art form but sadly there aren’t many platforms for people to explore and offer themselves to filmmaking.

Generally, just giving permissions to film screening every week would help a lot. Events should be arranged and encouraged by college authorities and there should be a filmmaking society in each college. As soon as there are more people involved, more competitions come up. A lot more sponsorship can arise from filmmaking as unlike debating filmmaking is more statics – it doesn’t end in an hour and the digital footprint of what you’ve done is always there.

Q. Is the environment in JMC supportive of your ambitions and projects?

College does tend to be a little strict with attendance but they do give ECAs if you represent a society. Teachers encourage extracurricular activities a lot. The kind of environment in JMC is of a very diverse crowd – everyone has different worldviews, perspectives, and ideologies, and you explore different things through others. I prefer a somewhat academic-oriented environment with seriousness and I like the fact that my college somewhere in the middle. I’m confident that the college authorities will be cooperative in case I plan on going for long breaks of absence for shoots.

Q. You’ve grown up with filmmaking since your dad is a filmmaker. How has it shaped you as a person over the years?

My dad made this film called Black Widow – it’s about a woman who takes up prostitution after riots. She was gang raped, she had no money, her daughter was killed, and this is one of the very real stories that actually happened. The kind of tolerance about people’s experiences without moral judgment comes a lot from the way my dad makes films himself. It has changed the way I look at life, and more than anything else, helped me appreciate the art of filmmaking and storytelling. I’m not very fond of standard films which have nothing to do with emotions. The kind of art that I value has an actual story rather than being a mindless repetition of people who perform and those who watch it.

Q. What do you look forward to in Cannes the most?

A film that my dad made and I edited got selected among four other nominations for the India International Film Festival in the Work in Progress lab. There, I saw how people talk to each other, what sort of things are important in filmmaking, and what critics consider when they review films. It really opened me up and I wasn’t so star-struck once I got back from there.

Cannes is definitely a huge-scale festival. I’m looking forward to meeting different filmmakers, companies, seeing a variety of good art in every sphere, and learn filmmaking in the coming weeks. I’m also looking forward to the country, the culture, the place, and I’m looking forward to dressing up obviously.


Vijeata Balani

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Sri Venkateswara College conducted a Film Making competition as part of their on-going fest, Nexus’14. The event saw a participation of 11 teams from colleges like Gargi, Zakhir Hussain, Maitreyi and Sri Guru Gobind College of Commerce.


The teams had to make a short film on any of the three topics given to them. ‘Voiceless Echo’ received the maximum entries, with ‘Through the Looking Glass’ and ‘I Wish I Was Where I Was When I Was Wishing I Was Here’ being the other two. Each team had to make a film of 5-10 minutes. They were permitted to use techniques such as animation.

Ambedkar University bagged the first prize for their film Third, and the host college, Sri Venkateswara took away the second spot for Helping Hand. Their films were judged by Mr. Ankit and Mr. Debashish, alumni of London Film School.

Image Credit: Geetika Varshney for DU Beat