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Friday, December 03, 2021

Family Matters

Daily life in a metro is a theme that has found resonance in Bollywood recently.

Written by Debesh Banerjee |
December 17, 2009 2:58:53 am

Daily life in a metro is a theme that has found resonance in Bollywood recently. While mainstream cinema is moving towards documenting urban realities like commuting,divorce and stress,Sona Jain,34,tackles the disintegration of families through the evocative and often disturbing eyes of a seven-year-old in her debut feature film For Real.

It is a grim subject for a first film,not to mention a tough one (if you don’t want to be remembered as a cliché),but Jain says domestic discord interests her,while adding that she’s had a happy childhood herself. “People have high aspirations and children bear the brunt each time there is a rift between parents,” says Jain. The 86-minute film,meanwhile,was eight long years in the making. There were all the usual woes of a first-time filmmaker,like finances running out. However,the wait almost seems worth it. At the Asian Festival of First Films in Singapore earlier this month,For Real won four awards — Jain won the awards for Best Producer and Best Screenplay; Zoya S. Hassan who played the girl won the the Best Actress; and Sriharsh Sharma Churai who played her brother the Best Actor. It was also the only English film in the Indian Panorama section at IFFI this year.

While For Real was in the making,Jain also made a documentary,Krishen Khanna: My Life,on the contemporary Indian artist. “This film helped me raise funds for the feature,” says Jain. She resumed filming For Real in 2006 in locations across Delhi,like Chanakyapuri and Old Delhi railway station,and wrapped up within a month. Like every filmmaker learns,the hardest part is not direction or scripting but raising funds. “I had never drafted a business plan and had to drum up the money myself,” she smiles. Now she is compiling an anthology of short stories titled God 101. Her next film,Delhi Aaah,is based on five working women from the Capital.

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