Writer-director Siddharth Chauhan’s debut feature film set in his hometown Shimla; Amar Colony won the Special Jury prize at the prestigious 26th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. The festival was held from November 11 to 27 in Estonia. Amar Colony was the only Indian film to be part of the ‘First Feature Competition at the festival this year and the first project from Himachal Pradesh to make it to NFDC Film Bazaar’s Co-Production Market. The film will also have its India Premiere at the 27th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which will be held from December 9 to 17, 2022 in Thiruvananthapuram. The film revolves around three women going through their mundane lives, representing the human condition, in a chawl. The film is produced by ‘Indie Film Collective’, a film initiative launched by Nisheeth Kumar and his friends in India in 2018. “I am so overwhelmed with the love which the European audience and POFF have shown towards our film,” says Chauhan, born and brought up in Shimla. A self-taught and award-winning filmmaker, he is driven by the need to create value, and makes most of his films in his hometown – Shimla, as he believes that world-class content can be created anywhere.
Therese Malvar, the co-juror for the First Feature Competition in her statement on the film said, “This film delighted us with a bold and innovative presentation of a small-town community whose frank sensuality and unabashed pursuit of urges, both human and divine, are set against the resonant backdrop of a culturally rich and deeply personal setting.”
Talking about the film, Chauhan says his goal was to take the audience on a tour inside this fantastic colony and show them what these three women were going through. “A guest would never participate in the private affairs of these families and hence we enter their lives but move out just in time so that we do not begin to participate or develop an emotional connection. From that perspective, Amar Colony is both unusual and unconventional as a film. It neither strives to evolve dramatically nor does it make a promise of catharsis reaching a climax with a typical resolution. Amar Colony is simply an experience of estrangement,” shares Chauhan, who is currently working on his second feature.