A short film festival organised by the Film Club of the prestigious Aligarh Muslim University, Filmsaaz was conceived in order to give the budding filmmakers a platform to showcase their talents.
The club itself was established in the academic year 1973-74 with the aim to promote cinematic culture among the students. Since its birth, the film club has been serving as the platform for students to explore the creative world of cinema.
It was only in 2008 that the Film Club members mooted to organise its own film festival, albeit only for short films that was slowly but securely gaining momentum. Once everyone gave their thumbs up to the idea, the First edition of the festival was successfully held from 28-30 March, 2008. Ace theatre and film artist Tom Walter was the chief guest and since then is being held annually as a national short film festival. Right from its inception, the festival had two categories i.e. national and local. National categories were for all and the local categories were restricted to filmmakers from Aligarh alone.
But, with times, the need to spread worldwide and gain recognition as well as get international films for our discerning audiences was on the cards. And with the sixth edition i.e. 6th Filmsaaz which was held from 3-5 March, 2013 the festival went international. This 6th edition transformed the national festival into an international one. The local categories were abolished totally to pave way for its international avatar. Now only international and national categories are there. The festival received 28 international and 102 national entries in all categories. Nawazuddin Sidddiqui was the chief guest for that particular edition.
The festival has witnessed several celebrities as the chief guest in the past in its valedictory session like Muzaffar Ali in the 2nd, Imtiaz Ali in the 3rd, Sudhir Mishra in the 4th, Pitobash Tripathy in the 5th, Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the 6th, Tigmasnhu Dhulia in the 7th and Ritesh Batra in the 8th.
So far the festival has completed its eighth edition in the year 2015 and preparing for its ninth in 2016. The festival has given wings to lot of budding film makers. It is the only short film festival organised by student’s body of a university in India.