It’s a film festival with a difference and an Indian film has made a mark. Kosmoderma, a skin and hair clinic in Bangalore has won the 2nd Best Film Award at the Cannes International Aesthetic Film Festival, France held recently for the film, Pujari Umaa Shankar. Dr Chytra Anand, the CEO of Kosmoderma was awarded 2nd place in the Practitioner category. (Fractional Lasers Resurfacing to remodel Accident Scars in Cosmetic Medicine). This is the first time a doctor from India, in fact Asia, has won this award. The Cannes International Aesthetic Film Festival is an event within the event. It is meant to broadcast and reward the best aesthetic medical films across the globe.
Based on the real life story of the patient, a 26-year-old Hindu priest in a temple Umaa Shankar, the short film was written and adapted for the screen and directed by Abhinav Kamal and Jyotirmoy Barman of Ten Motion Arts and produced by Kosmoderma Clinic. Cinematographer Balaji has managed to capture the essence of the tale. The story revolves around the experience of Shankar who loses his job as a priest after a disfiguring accident, making him struggle to support his family. Destiny, however, brings him in touch with Chytra and Dr Rasya at Kosmoderma clinics. Modern medicine and the science of aesthetics prove not only to be a boon of happiness, but also a life changing experience for him and his traditional family.
The story was discussed among the team members (Kosmoderma and Ten Motion Arts, the production house) and finally selected to be made into a film by Chytra. “One of the reasons why the story of Umaa Shankar was selected to be made into a film is that we all found the story to be naturally inspiring and motivating. It is the story of an individual who has his own struggles and then triumphs at the end. The film allowed us to showcase our culture and the cinematography, specifically, has been the treat to the eyes of the audience,” says Chytra.
The 15 minute neatly and tightly edited film shows how modern technology in cosmetic surgery and aesthetics can bring hope to middle class and lower middle class people and can boost the self confidence and morale of someone who has been scarred due to an accident.
“We have come across young men who have been denied jobs due to cuts or scars on their face and brides who have been asked to go back to parents’ home due to acne, which the in-laws believe is contagious,” says Rasya. Even excessive facial hair in women can cause a lot of social and marital problems. Chytra adds that it is a wrong perception that chemical peels, Botox and other medical aesthetic procedures are just for actresses and society ladies. Often, they become a necessity and can transform lives.