Indian director Somshukhlla makes her global mark with Sandcastle

somshukhlla-directed Sandcastle is making waves internationally..

Indian director Somshukhlla makes her global mark with Sandcastle

Sandcastle, a simple film with a complex message written and directed by Indian debutante director Shomshukhlla has been nominated at several International Film Festivals including the Tenerife and London International Film Festival and screening in Hollywood LA Femme Fest.

The journey of a woman in modern India, finding her identity, Sandcastle will be screened at Hollywood’s LA Femme Film Festival at the Regal Stadium 14 LA LIVE, and has been nominated in the Best Foreign Language Feature Film category at the London International Film Festival (LIFF) 2013 and prides itself with four nominations at the Tenerife International Film Festival 2013 in London on October 12, including nods for Best Feature Film, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Cinematography.

Some important and rather poignant messages are conjured up in this bright and beautiful journey of a woman building her life. The ending is settling and although the film has its fair share of surreal moments, there is clarity to the communication of Sandcastle that reads much like a wonderfully crafted manuscript.
“The film addresses the unsatisfied longings of a seemingly comfortable middle-class Indian woman. India is waking up to good stories, with substance, new voices, ideas and perspectives, redefining the lost glory of story-telling. I am lucky that I am getting to be a part of it,” says Somshuklla.
Sandcastle tells the story of Sheila, (Shahana Chatterjee) whose upper middle-class life in India isn’t as perfect as she hoped it would be. Sheila is a home-maker, an aspiring writer and loving mother. From an outsiders perspective it would seem like she has the perfect life. Her husband is a wealthy advertising maverick and she is part of the elite middle-class of Indian society. But like the shifting of the sands, is it all slipping through her fingers? How will she build her own dreams? In all that she has, does she really have a voice of her own?
The story of Sandcastle reflects one’s belief in the ability to build a perfect life. But even in perfection there is emptiness and wanting. What is perfect to one person is misery for another. The film focuses on contemporary women in urban India and the changes in society that have moulded these women as an independent and self directing force of nature. Shomshuklla shows two colliding worlds of fateful acceptance and feminine Indian independence and individuality. The film focuses on contemporary women in urban India, and the changes in society that have moulded these women as an independent and self directing force of nature.

Interestingly, this laurel comes at a time when the director is ready to launch her seventh book of poetry ‘Easy’, has been a pop-singer with over nine albums, done fusion renditions of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s songs on a global platform, written column on relationships, formed her theatre company, Kali Theatre , writing original scripts, directing, designing, staging, producing and acting nine original plays. ‘We draupadi’s and Sitas’ an epic retold in modern times drew full houses at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The film’s credits: direction, story, script, production and art design, Shomshuklla. Cinematography, Ritam Banerjee. Original music, Ankur Mukherjee. Editing, Shashi Kumar. The cast includes Shahana Chatterjee, Malvika Jethwani, Rajat Sharma and Uditvanu Das.

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Rajendra Ganotra is the Editor of Spicy Stars Mumbai

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