Short Film On Lockdown-hit Family Shortlisted By Cannes

Surat-based writer-director Abhishek Galshar chose the story of a particular family for the movie, to highlight the problems middle class and poor families faced during the lockdown.

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Divya Dhadd
Divya Dhadd
Journalist

INDIA: Surat-based writer-director Abhishek Galshar read somewhere that a woman had taken to prostitution since she was not able to recharge her daughter’s phone for her studies. “The idea struck me and I talked to the artists and finally we worked on it” – the idea that was manifested into a 4 minute, 20 second Hindi film.

Read also: UK Government Plans To Impose Lockdown Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

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The movie focuses on the impact of the Covid-induced nationwide lockdown on a poor family.

The film, titled ‘The Lockdown’ has bagged awards of ‘Best Short Film’ in the Gold Movie Awards and the Berlin Flash Film Awards. But the movie grabbed more eyeballs when recently it got shortlisted for a showcase at the Festival De Cannes that is scheduled for July 6-17.  

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“How the Covid pandemic and later, the lockdown affected a poor family comprising a young couple and their child, who is a student, staying in a makeshift house. During the lockdown, the husband lost his job, and after two months of lockdown, when online education started, his wife forced herself into prostitution, to be able to afford to recharge her daughter’s mobile internet and pay the school fees,” Galshar told Indian Express.

Speaking about the lockdown, he said that he had seen people face great problems, particularly financial problems, throughout the lockdown period which persisted even after ‘Unlock 1.0 and 2.0.  The Lockdown director also pointed out that many people had lost their jobs, school authorities demanded fees from the students, making the lives of the middle class and lower-income families terrible.

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The movie casts Neetu Tanwar as the protagonist mother with Omprakash Prajapati playing her husband and Peehu Bijnani as Neetu’s daughter. The film moves through shots from color to black and white as per the mood.

Galshar added that they shot for three hours in one day at a place in Olpad town in Surat district, and another day for editing.

The team has received a confirmation through the mail from the selection committee of Festival D. Cannes and the event is to take place in June or July this year. “I am also planning to put my short film in Goa Film Festival,” said the elated director.

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