The world around us today is in a state of chaos. Whether you're reading a newspaper, browsing your social media account or talking to people around, it's easy to say that we are all turning into cynics.
Quite honestly, I was tired of turning into one.
Which is why, I've worked on a story that draws inspiration from everyday living and finding joy in the ordinary doings of our mundane lives, seen through the eyes of 5 year old Amu who believes, dreams and dances to her own tune.
If you're ever in need of some inspiration, go sit with your five year old self and have a conversation, Trust me, it will be one of the best conversations you will have and it will inspire you to see life around you in a new way. This is precisely what I have tried to do while writing this film.
Children have a simple view of things around them, which is what I have tried to capture as the essence of the film.
In this world ridden with bias, cynicism and hatred; there is always friendship, magic and hope to fall upon and that is what the film is about.
You can view some of my previous work here-
A glimpse of my work
A short documentary made by me
What is the film about?
The film is about 5 year old Amu who moves with her mother from the city to a small town in Rajasthan to live with her grandmother. Each of the three women have not chosen to be together but circumstances and Amu’s father’s financial troubles have made it happen.
Away from the city she grew up in, Amu starts to warm up to the new setting, but not without creating an escape for herself in an imaginary friend who accompanies her on most of her escapades. Amu’s mother, not in the least pleased with the turn of events, tries hard to stay out of her mother-in-law’s way and seldom strikes a conversation with her. Apart from her desire for freedom, her only dream is to send Amu to a good English medium school and give her everything that she did not receive in her childhood.
As they start to reluctantly settle down in the Haveli, things start to change and Amu and her mother fall into the rhythm of life in the haveli. Soon, Amu’s father sends a money order so that Amu can be admitted to an English medium school, and on Amu’s first day of school she meets and befriends a girl with the same name as her imaginary friend.
The film is a peek into the lives of these three women.
Amu’s grandmother, 68 year old Sugno Devi finds her solace in the mundaneness of everyday things. Having lived through the majority of her life with many ups and downs, she doesn’t depend on anyone anymore and is a woman of few words, but many expectations. Although she comes across as someone who is invincible in the beginning caught up with the crisis of everyday existence, Amu brings out a more humane side of hers as the film progresses.
Amu’s mother, 31 year old Sudha is a woman torn apart by circumstances. If she could choose, she would be anywhere but with her mother-in-law who she sees as a tyrannical oppressor of her freedom and the lifestyle showered upon her as a blessing by the big city. Apart from the absence of her husband, Sudha is also worried about not being a good mother and denying her daughter the one thing that she ought to give her- education from a good, English medium school. Having grown up in Rajasthan as a female and herself denied opportunities in life, she now aims high for her little girl but loses hope with the financial crisis and Amu’s obsession with an imaginary friend only adds to her anxiety and trauma making her believe more and more as the days pass that Amu is either turning senile or is possessed.
5 and a half year old Amu does not see the world with biases but with her own unique vision and shares it with her imaginary friend. She explores the new surroundings oblivious of the trauma that her mother is going through, or the adjustments her grandmother has to make to accommodate them in her life. As she starts life afresh in the small town, she finds her escape in the company of her imaginary friend and the newborn calf in the house, the intriguing spiders, an invisible peacock and her incomprehensible grandmother who she manages to break through with her innocence.
The film is about survival, and coping up with the ordinary while hoping that things would change in one’s favour. Each of the three characters take us on their own journey of desire seen through their unique perspectives. In the end, they all get what they want in some way, but is it really what they wanted?
Honestly, the biggest thing you can get out of helping us is the satisfaction of helping a team of people who believe in what they are doing and bring a creative vision to life. There are no amount of perks that I can offer that will ever take place of the good wishes we will send your way. However, your contribution will not go completely unnoticed. You can choose your contribution based on the perks, if you wish.
My student journey as a filmmaker has been a long, tough journey and a wonderful learning experience and as I can see it, it gets only better and better. So help me make the best of it.
Whatever your contribution be, your name will be acknowledged in the credits of the film along with a few other incentives such as keeping an important part of the film's props, posters and postcards made by young, talented artists of the country, DVDs of the film and a few other simple, yet exciting rewards.
But, above all will be the fact that we will forever be indebted to you for your support in helping a student filmmaker realize her dream.
Why do we need you?
Avni Sethi is a dancer, activist (founder of Conflictorium, Ahmedabad) and a woman to reckon with. She has also graciously agreed to work on the film having previously worked with me on another project, a link to which is below. Avni performs pieces that imbibes dance, music and storytelling in a unique way.She plays the role of Amu's mother in the film.
You can view her Facebook page here.
The child actor for the film is 6 year old Shambhavi, a class 1 student from Jodhpur who was a find in an acting workshop taken by me to for this project, She not only surprised us, but also her family and teachers becoming the most suitable to play the role of 5 year old Amu. You will have to wait and watch to see what she does on screen :)
- OTHER REQUIREMENTS -
- FOOD & CONVEYANCE
- EQUIPMENT RENTALS
- PRODUCTION COSTS
- POST PRODUCTION
- FESTIVAL SUBMISSIONS
- Updates through the course of the campaign to let you know the progress, pitfalls (if any) and general momentum of the film
- Invitation to be at the screening of the film at NID, Ahmedabad
- A personal thank you note and social media shout out to each of our contributor
- A SPECIAL presentation with the story, your contribution with your picture and production stills that you can share with your family, friends and colleagues