Mumbai: With the 3G boom, you can now watch 15 and 10 minute version of full-length films on your phone while on your way to work.

Prankster professor meets girl, they fall in love and get married. He decides to trick her brother-in-law (who the girl idolises to bits) into believing that the said boy is a shudhh Hindi speaking driver to prove a point about his gullibility. For this, they rope in boy's best friend, a dorky English literature professor, to pretend that he is the original boy.

Except that the dorky boy falls in love with the first boy's other best friend's sister-in-law. A song's mukhda, some memorable lines and scenes, and more confusion later, everything is sorted and the right boys end up with the right girl.

Too quick, too soon? Well that's how the 15-minute plot of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's classic comedy, Chupke Chupke, pans out.

The 1975 film is one of the 30 classic films that Shemaroo Entertainment will edit into 15-minute shorts to be viewed on mobile phones by "busy people on-the-go who may not have the patience to sit through a complete three-hour film," says Hiren Gada, Director, Shemaroo Entertainment.

"New media is changing the way people consume information. The mobile phone has become an entity that people use for everything, so we thought, why not take movies onto that platform?"

Pranav Ashar will agree. The Founder and Chairman, Enlighten Film Association (EFA) says the mobile phone is the new big screen. In India, there are more mobile phones than computers. Increasingly, that is the platform where content will be consumed. "So it makes sense to create content for this personal device," says Ashar.

EFA has embarked on an ambitious plan to provide original short films, cut foreign documentaries into 15-minute shorts and create original five-minute shorts for the cell phone. All expected to roll out within the next three months. Both path-breaking initiatives have been buoyed by the 3G boom in India. "This is part of our larger plan to enter the digital media space in a big way," Ashar lets on.

"With 3G coming in, people are going to want more and more personalised video content on their mobile phones. And with attention spans declining the way they are, no one will want to watch two-hour long films anymore. That's where shorts come in."

While EFA plans to rope in A-list actors and young, big ticket directors to star in and direct the original five-minute shorts, Shemaroo is sticking to editing classics.

"Our generation has seen some really fantastic films that will go down in film history. But unless you are a film buff today, the new generation no longer spends three hours over the slow romance in Mughal-E-Azam. We see this as a way of harnessing the 3G boom to connect the youth with films that must not be missed," feels Gada.
But won't traditionalists see this move as an unnecessary tampering with classics? "When you attempt a project like this, resistance is expected. But the way we see it, we will be connecting the youth with classics. Who knows, after watching the 15-minute version of Golmaal, an 18 year-old may actually be inspired to watch the original.

At least this way, we can ensure that they know about these films," is his defence of the project.
Of course, it hasn't been easy. As Ashar puts it, "It has been a huge challenge, and extremely time-consuming."

Ask him about facing resistance, and he responds with, "When we first entered the market with Taj Enlighten Film Society, a society catering exclusively to world cinema buffs, people wondered whether it was going to work. This is a new idea too, but it's part of innovation."

The real question is, are you willing to see a 10-minute version of Anand and a 15-minute version of The Bicycle Thief on your way to work every morning?

Courtesy: Mid-day.com