KOCHI: Rituals and customs have always restricted women’s freedom. And what place better than Varanasi, which reverberates with rituals, prayers and aartis, to ponder such thoughts. This is how V S Sanoj fixed Varanasi as a location for his Hindi short film ‘Burning’. The short film, screened in the ongoing Kolkata International Film Festival, has also been selected to the Indian Panorama, IFFK Goa.
This 17-minute-long film follows a conversation between two young women brought together by bizarre social realities at a funeral ghat in Varanasi. “What we try to capture is how these two young hapless women - subjugated to myriad forms of emotional violence from patriarchy - share in brief sentences their plight and build an instant bond, understand each other and how that kinship pains them even more at a godforsaken ghat,” Sanoj said.
But what makes the film more unique is that it is a Hindi film made by a team of Malayalis.
Pune-based writer-model Ketaki Narayanan and national award-winning director Rukshana Tabassum have played the lead roles.
The film was shot in five days The post-production work of ‘Burning’ was produced by Ajayya Kumar under Saravamangala Arts Initiatives. The editing work was done by Kerala state award-winner Manesh Madhavan and Praveen Mangalath. The sound mixing was done by Arun Ramavarma, while Arijit Mitra was the sound designer. While the casting was done by Resmi Satheesh, the production designer was Kiran Keshav. The background score was given by musician Bijibal.