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Arati Kadav’s new short film reflects how lockdown affected her

Filmmaker Arati Kadav says the uncertainty the world has been facing due to the global pandemic has affected her mind, too.

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Filmmaker Arati Kadav says the uncertainty the world has been facing due to the global pandemic has affected her mind, too.

Her recent release, the short film “55km/sec”, is a reflection of her thoughts and a realization of all that happened to her during that phase. The film is about an asteroid speeding towards Earth, the impact with which will cause the end of the planet. With minutes left for total destruction, the protagonist (played by Mrinal Dutt) joins a chat room of old college friends to spend his last moments with them. Then, in the final moments, a twist in the drama follows for him.

“Lockdown was an ambiguous thing for all of us and I thought we were united in a very weird way. I thought what if something bigger than that happened to us — an asteroid coming at us. We were still safe inside our houses, eating food and wearing clothes. Of course, people lost their jobs, (there was a) financial crisis, and lockdown showed the brutal face of reality in the form of the migrant workers. Those who lost their lives while trying to reach home by road, died under cars — it was so brutal. So, in one scene when they say that 99 per cent people will die, I put the picture of migrants. That was an important sequence for me to convey my thought,” she said.

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“Today we have empathy for them, tomorrow someone way richer than us will put us in their position! In a way, I have encapsulated all these thoughts in the story,” said Kadav.

On the shooting experience, Arati Kadav informed saying, “We shot the film remotely via zoom calls and phone cameras, and I, along with my team, was virtually directing the actors. The process was taxing. Having said that, it really gave us a boost to start something in the form of a short film. We shot the film in June-July last year and at that point of time we were actually in a frustrated state of mind because of lockdown. The film somewhere diverted our minds.”

“55km/sec” also features Richa Chadha and streams on Disney+ Hotstar.

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–ians, Arundhuti Banerjee

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