Tag: Amitabha-Singh

Children’s Film Shortcut Safari Review; Director Amitabha Singh Educates and Entertains at the same time with his debut Film


The special screening of the children’s film Shortcut Safari took place at Nandan as part of the Kolkata International Children’s Film Festival. Ace cinematographer cum debutant director Amitabh Singh along with the cast of the film was present at this special screening of this film.

The film Shortcut Safari is the story of a group of students from school who go on a Nature trip. During their way back to school, they get stranded in a dense jungle. How they survive in the jungle and how they understand the importance of Nature is what the film deals with.

Ace cinematographer Amitabha Singh who had been related with other film projects like Chillar Party turned director with this film. The director must be given the credit for picking a topic related to children for his debut film. The narrative is linear and will appeal to the young audience whom he actually targets. Despite the fact that the film is about saving environment and also increasing awareness amongst the younger audience, the film never becomes preachy and boring. This is very essential when catering to the young minds of today, who get distracted very easily.

Some hitch, however, that I found in the course of the film can however mar this smooth viewing experience. Firstly the character played by actor Jimmy Shergill in the film. An extensive chat with the director however cleared things for us, but I doubt many seated in the audience may become confused. Secondly in the course of the film, a young student meets the much feared clouded leopard. Thinking it to be a big cat, she goes on chatting with the leopard. I mean this is absurd, given the fact that children today are so much ahead of their times. They will not surely mistake a big leopard for a cat, however small their age might be.

Shot beautifully in the forests of Dangs, the film is a visual delight. Coupled with the music of Resul Pookutty, the visual and the musical harmony lends a good feel to the film. The sounds of the jungle have been captured wonderfully and will be a good experience for the viewers watching the film.

The VFX and animation work is also better than many films made in recent times. The clouded leopard or the hyenas looked quite real and made for a good viewing experience.

Acting by the young boys and girls was apt and credit must be given to the director for actually letting them behave in their natural way. This lent an originality and authenticity to their behavior. The selection was also made by observing them in their school and selecting them on the basis of the character which suited them.

Shortcut Safari is a good film to watch. The film is slated for release next year during April-May when the summer vacation begins. Make sure you take your child to watch this. Entertaining and educating!!!

Director Amitabha Singh introduces his film Shortcut Safari


Shortcut Safari Review by:


Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.

The information and views set out in this movie review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Publication/Organization. Neither the Publication/Organization nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Interview: Cinematographer turned director Amitabha Singh on his debut Film Shortcut Safari, Love for Children’s Films and More


A celebrated cinematographer (known for Khosla Ka Ghosla, The Good Road, Aagey se Right and others) and also a producer, Amitabha Singh was in the city for the special screening of his debut film Shortcut Safari at the Kolkata International Children’s Film Festival. Sholoana Bangaliana correspondent engaged the director in a candid chat after the special screening of the show at Nandan 1. Excerpts from the conversation..

Director Amitabha Singh introduces his film Shortcut Safari

Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana BangalianaCongratulations on making your debut as the director with Shortcut Safari!! Previously too you have been associated with films like Chillar Party, so any special liking for particularly this domain of films?

Amitabha Singh– Thanks a lot!! There is a great relationship between me and children. There is a magical connection, which makes it so special. I feel that this is one of the least explored domains by any director. Efforts have been made by individual directors but as a whole one needs to work more on this sphere. Children are also the future of our country. It will also be wise to provide them with entertaining educational stuff to enrich them.

Apart from the fact that you share a magical relation with children what triggered you to make a film on environment?

This happened while I went for a tour to Kenya. I went to the forests for safari and I was surprised by the tranquility in the lap of nature. Even with the predators around, there was a phenomenal sense of togetherness amongst the animals and Nature. This triggered me to make a film on environment.


What is the story of the film Shortcut Safari?

The story is about a group of school students who get stranded in a dense forest on a school trip. It is through this experience that they learn to value their friendships and also care for Mother Earth.

Why did you select such a topic for your debut film? Don’t you think this will narrow down your audience base?

No, I don’t think so. This film is mainly for the children and the youth. If their parents want to come and see the film, I do not think that my film will bore them.

The film has some great VFX. The leopard in particular looks majestic. Who is behind such wonderful creative work?

A brilliant agency by the name of Graphiti Multimedia is behind the creation of such wonderful works. They have done all the animation in six months. The overall process would have otherwise taken about a year. They have really done fast work.

What is your take on the scope of children’s entertainment in the country?

I feel that the space of entertainment for children is very limited and also unbalanced. We should have a milieu of our own where we must make films for the children. There are stuffs made by foreign directors, but what about indigenous films for children? Hence I mentioned that it is unbalanced. Moreover I find making films for children as rewarding and enjoyable too.


How did you select the child artists or the film?

When the script was written we had common children in our minds. This is the kind whom you will see and instantly relate with. Hence we went to many schools for the selection process. However we requested the school authorities not to let anyone know about this. We observed the children in groups and then made the final selection based on how far they were in sync with the script. We never mechanized the process. Even during the shooting of the film, I used words like Behave instead of the most commonly used term “Action”. This will retain the authenticity of their behavior and they will be their natural self in front of the camera too.

Can you share some interesting incidents from the shoot? How challenging was the whole process?

Shooting the film was as challenging as shooting any other film. We shot the entire film in thirty eight days. We shot for a large part of the film in the forests of the Dangs. Hence we had to adjust our schedule in accordance with the schedule of Nature. We faced two days of heavy rainfall and this delayed our shooting. Moreover the forests where we shot the film are famous for its spiders. The spiders made webs between two trees. Chances are you will walk straight into them. Hence we had to be cautious that no one met with any accident.


What is the message that you want to give to the younger audience?

I feel that the younger generation of India is getting unattached from environment and nature. With this film I want to make them aware of their duties towards nature. There is a Panchatantra kind of feel to the film. Without making it preachy I want to relate to the child their duties and responsibilities. Another message is for the urban parents who often do not have much time for their children. I am not stating that all parents do not spare time for their children. But one should devote some time so as to make them aware of their prime responsibilities.

You have an interesting educational background, Bachelors in Computer Science, then a Masters in Mathematics and then films; What prompted you to join films?

I was a keen photographer and was pursuing it as a hobby. However after completing my Bachelors it stayed back in my mind. Due to self motivation, I joined FTTI, Pune and after that I continued with my work in this field.

What are your expectations from the film?

Film is a sensitive medium. I have not anticipated anything. I have made a true film with all my heart and hard work. I just hope the audience appreciates my effort. I always aspire to make films close to my heart and this is one film which is very close to my heart.


Has the film being screened prior to the screening in Kolkata? When do you plan to release the film in theatres?

Well yes, it had been screened at the National Children’s Film Festival in Delhi. I am working on a few collaborations so that I can release the film in a wider way. The film is eyeing for release in April coinciding with the summer vacation of children.

What is the next project that you will be working on?

I plan to make another film for the children. The topic is yet undecided as I am busy with the activities revolving my debut film. Let the verdict for this film get out. Wish me luck!!

We hope the ace cinematographer-producer turned director all the best for his debut film and hope he can succeed in his mission of spreading awareness about nature amongst children.



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Director Amitabh Singh Interview By:


Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.