Sriram Raghavan looks back at his wacky FTII diploma film, The Eight Column Affair (1987)

Posted on July 4, 2020

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With Rajkumar Hirani as editor, Shiv Subramaniam as the lead and Nana Patekar in a knife-wielding cameo, this short won the National Award for Best Short Fiction Film.

A conversation with the Andhadhun director about his diploma film, which explores the idea of news “coming alive” when an athlete featured on the front page of a newspaper falls for a model-pretty tennis player featured on the last page. He has to cross through various newspaper headline-hurdles to get to the girl.

‘The Eight Column Affair’ is one of the best illustrations of the race-against-time concept I’ve seen. Because a newspaper literally “expires” at the end of the day and a new edition takes its place. So our hero’s “race against time” becomes literal.  I had no idea Shiv Subramaniam had acted in something so long ago. It was fun to see him as the athlete.  

We were doing our diploma films. I had to think of a story in a month. So I was just sitting there reading, and I came across an article about a short film written by Wendy Toye. In the interview, she was saying she wanted to do something like the newspapers and all that. So the basic, kind of kick-off point was that: what if we do a front page/last page kind of thing!

Read the rest of this article here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/interviews/bollywood-interview/sriram-raghavan-looks-back-at-his-wacky-ftii-diploma-film-the-eight-column-affair-1987-baradwaj-rangan/

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