Had the film been even a few minutes longer, it would have answered all our questions, put to rest our dilemmas and given us a good night’s sleep but Alfiya lasts only 18 minutes. The questions remain unanswered and one resorts to imagination and the hope that the filmmaker will make a part two, just for us. A story about a girl with a mental disorder in Delhi and her daily struggles and dilemmas about what’s real and what’s a figment of her imagination, Alfiya has been directed by 25-year-old Satyarth Shaurya Singh. The film will be screened for the first time today at antiSocial in Hauz Khas Village.
“I wrote the script about three years ago, even before I started my own production house, Lights on Films. I was waiting for the right time and team to make it,” says Singh. As Alfiya, the lead character played by theatre actor Amba Suhasini Katoch Jhala, goes about her life, she comes across people and locations whose presence she isn’t sure of. There is a guard, a young girl cycling, a bespectacled receptionist, a doctor and an elevator. The film ends abruptly, leaving one with queries. “We’ve left it open to people’s interpretation. The character undergoes many dilemmas in the film, and if the viewer too feels the same way, we are successful,” says Singh, who made Echoes (2012), a documentary on the independent music culture in Delhi.
The film’s screenplay and dialogues have been written by Singh and Abhilash Sahu, his partner at Lights on Films. Sahu also plays the guard in it. Delhi-based bands Faridkot and Caesars of the Green have given the background score and it has been mastered by Delhi-based musician Mohnish Ketswal. “Music is very important for Alfiya because psychologically she feels that it helps her block all the voices she hears. This is why we’ve worked on the music of the film,” says Singh.
The film will be screened at antiSocial, Hauz Khas Village, today, 7.30 pm onwards, in batches of two or three. Entry is free.