Hyderabad: St Francis' first-ever film club has grand plans to help students dive deep into the world of cinema

“I want everyone to see the symbolism, that will help them widen their horizons and give recognition to underrated movies,” says Vidhi Shah, Club President
Members of Francis Talkies | Pic: Vidhi Shah
Members of Francis Talkies | Pic: Vidhi Shah

Surely you must have watched SS Rajamouli's epic blockbuster action movie RRR? And surely, you couldn't have missed the symbolism of fire and water, reflecting Ram Charan Teja and Jr NTR's (lead actors) emotions perfectly. We might as well call this symbolism one of the many reasons that an Oscar campaign is now on to help the movie win the most coveted laurels.

But it's not in every movie that symbolism is so obvious. Sometimes, it's so subtle and layered that one feels like Nancy Drew after peeling back the layers, one by one. This is because reading between the lines reveals new dimensions of the movie and unlocks magic previously unknown.

Vidhi Shah, a student, pursuing her second-year in Literature at St Francis College for Women, Begumpet, Hyderabad, is a movie buff who revels in symbolism. She understands perfectly well that the devil is in the details. “I want everyone to see the symbolism as it will help them widen their horizons and gives recognition to underrated movies,” she adds.

Shah goes on to explain how, just like RRR, different movies have symbolism which elevates them from being just a mere form of amusement to really offering a platform to understand humans, the human psyche and beyond. “It is my aim for people to view movies as more than just a form of entertainment.” To achieve this, and many other goals, she and other like-minded students initiated Francis Talkies — the first-ever film club of St Francis College for Women. The club will be officially launched by the end of this semester or the next semester and movie enthusiasts of the college are thrilled. “Everyone watches movies. It could be different languages, different genres, different styles, but actively or passively, everyone watches movies,” said Vidhi Shah, President of Francis Talkies.

The film enthusiast says that there are a number of underrated movies that are extremely good and they also help pull down the barriers between different cultures. The President’s aim for the club is to invite mind-provoking and diverse discussions around films and beyond.

American Corner’s collaboration 
The club has collaborated with the Departments of English as well as Mass Communication apart from the American Corner (set up by the US Consulate General Hyderabad and the college).

“Being in collaboration with the American Corner is such an honour. We decided to collaborate with them to get an insight into American movies,” said Vidhi Shah. The club is planning to screen movies from America and also expects to gain more exposure, contacts and connections. 

Film Club, Film Festivals
Francis Talkies will screen movies every month. “We are planning to screen movies at the college auditorium from different genres, cultures and languages to show the students that there’s a whole world of different movies out there. What could be a better way to understand different cultures?” asks Vidhi Shah.

The club is planning to organise a weekly session where participants can not only watch a movie, but also have the opportunity to analyse and discuss the nuances of the movie. A film festival is also going to be organised by the end of the year where a number of movies will be screened.

Lights, camera and aim
The club aims to provide a wide range of cinematic experiences for every cinephile who loves indulging in intriguing and thought-provoking conversations about movies. Personally, when Vidhi watches a movie, she likes to not just walk in the shoes of the character, but live in them, for at least a while. An experience she hopes will rub off on the member of the club. The club's aim is also to experience movies the same way. It hopes to give the students an opportunity to think and discuss the behind-the-scenes contributors, like the cinematographer, editor, choreographer and so on, and enlighten the students about how the roles of these underrated professionals will have an impact on the final product.

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