At the Roof Top Film Festival
A very cool thing happened last week, on the terrace of a house tucked away in M.R.C.Nagar, a part of town I associate with school kids and cricket coaching, and the quaintly-retained name of the Quibble Island Cemetery that you see as you’re passing by. The night’s event is called the Roof Top Film Festival. The crowd of about twenty strikes you as motley. Some are standing around and chatting, some are already making use of the recline that the mattresses wonderfully laid out all over the terrace floor provide, some speak in the instantly recognizable argot of the college student.
There are no welcome speeches; introductions are put off for later. The first order of events, as I pleasantly found out, was to switch off the lights and screen a movie. The theme is significant first movies by directors, interspersed with movies by independent, local film-makers. By the time Hard Candy and Blood Simple are through, it’s about 1 A.M., and nobody shows any signs of letting up. Cigarettes are lit, the snacks which have been making appearances through-out give way to full-fledged dinner, a group here and there chats away.
The atmosphere is perceptibly lighter, some of the ice has been broken. A short and a feature, both by Chennai-based film-makers, slot themselves in. Happily, the choice of the next movies is made flexible too – though Annie Hall wasn’t Woody Allen’s first movie, it’s a damn good one, and that should be reason enough to play it.
I thought this several times during that night, and each time I smiled to myself – it doesn’t get much better than settling comfortably into position to watch movies on a screen as the cool night breeze drifts by.