Benchi is a short film showcasing the caste-based discrimination that is still prevalent in various places. A child’s mind is filled with innocence, and the question Benchi answered was, what would happen to this innocence when the society’s norms are imposed on them for an object as mundane as a “School bench”?
Shot in a small village on the outskirts of Hyderabad called Koduvatoor, Benchi portrays the helplessness of people who are discriminated against by society. It unravels the stark reality of the world that continues to live in the shadows of old beliefs.
While developing the Grad Film Concept, Shreyas, a student of Annapurna College of Film and Media wanted to create a film that conveyed a message that is relevant in today’s context.
According to Shreyas, “It is essential to speak about things that form an important factor for humanity’s existence – Equality. These seeds of thoughts were further nurtured during my learning at Annapurna College of Film and Media.”
As part of his Bachelor’s Program at Annapurna College, Shreyas was exposed to all facets of the filmmaking process – film direction, film editing, sound design, script writing, production, etc. With Direction as the Major, Shreyas opted to specialize in Sound Design as a part of his film and media degree program.
When asked about ‘What motivated him to take up sound design at Annapurna College?’, he responded that “film is an audio – visual medium and most of us forget that audio acts as the soul of any film. Not only does it help one get a complete grip on every minute aspect of the film, but it
also helps one analyse their contribution to the filmmaking process in a profound manner”.
He also added that “as sound design deals with the details and that approach seeped into our film making process in general, they were able to intricately place sound and design in the storyscape to make the audience feel like they are living the lives of the characters in the film. Without sound, it could’ve only looked at what the village looks like, but with the advent of Sync Sound they were able to transport them into the story.”
When asked about what were the contributions of other team members that he would like to highlight, the answer that he gave was like a true Annapurna College alumnus, “Teamwork, sincerity and perseverance have always been the pillars of my filmmaking process. As the director of the film I always felt that there was barely anything that I have done because I was blessed with an amazing crew who worked and enjoyed working for the film every second. All the pieces of the puzzle blended beautifully because each piece was crafted with care and love by the members. We have collectively created not just a film that is being globally appreciated but more importantly we have been enriched by the memories of making the film that was close to our hearts.”
The fact that Benchi has been nominated for Student Oscars and has reached the semi-finalist round is a true example of the sincere efforts of creative young minds who have drawn upon their learning at one of the best film schools in India.
Benchi is a must-watch for all those who wish to learn cinematography, sound design, film direction, editing, script writing, production or are simply film lovers.
Annapurna College of Film and Media is proud of Shreyas CM and the entire team behind Benchi.