A small girl sitting and drawing what she sees outside her school window forms the heartwarming start of the silent short film on lake contamination and environment crisis in Hyderabad, which is making waves at film festivals around the world.
At a little over two minutes, The Silent Voice, directed by city-based documentary filmmaker Anshul Sinha, drives home a strong message even as it tugs at emotions. The movie, which stars three main characters — a small girl, her drawing teacher and the lake — moved the jury of LAMPA International Film Festival 2019, Russia and was awarded the second best film amongst 8,500 works from 132 countries.
Elaborating on what went on behind-the-scenes and the motivation behind the subject, Anshul says, “We made the film a year ago and since then, it has travelled to many film festivals. With this recent win at the LAMPA International Film Festival, our confidence has grown by leaps and bounds. The film is about a deaf girl who tries to save the Ibrahim Lake through her drawing. It was the idea of our producer, Sunil Chakravarthi to highlight the issue of disappearing lakes in Hyderabad.”
“Hyderabad was once known as the city of lakes but now, due to rampant construction, land filling, and lakes being dumped with garbage, that is no longer the case. I wanted to highlight this pathetic state of affairs,” explains Sunil, who admits that the team was skeptical about sending the film to festivals as it would show India in a poor light.
“We were initially skeptical but the situation we are facing in Hyderabad now is being faced by many cities worldwide, we only highlighted the plight,” shares Sunil.
Meanwhile, the director points out that finding the right shooting location was one of the biggest challenges, apart from getting the cast right. “We tried every possible place near the lake but couldn’t find the right locale. Later, we had to use green screen to portray the school beside the dirty lake. Also, we needed a powerful enough character who could be expressive using only the eyes and no words. After auditioning many kids, we finally got our lead, Trisha on board,” says Anshul.
For the class 3 student who is already into dramatics at school, her passion for acting helped her do justice to the role of a deaf girl who is concerned about her immediate environment. The team is now keen to see their film travel across more film festivals and win more accolades along with raising awareness about the environment....