KOCHI: Having to move on from the death of a loved one is the hardest thing one can ever endure. Kollam native Abhishek Chandra, who is settled in Los Angels, explores the subject in his new short film Ladybug. The English-Portuguese short produced in LA under Meraki Studios has won 16 awards globally, including the Best Drama Short award at the prestigious Europe Film Festival.
The 15-minute film directed by Abhishek features English-Portuguese drama stars Mia Drake, Andre Mattos, and Isabela Valotti who wrote the film and plays the lead role of Olivia. Her performance also bagged many accolades, including the Best Actress award at Sao Paolo Film Festival, 2020. The film revolves around the life of Olivia and her journey of moving on from the death of someone beloved to her.
The film may seem relatable to many as we are living in this troubling time brought about by the pandemic, says Abhishek who co-produced the film with actress Isabela Valotti. “Ladybug is actually based on a true story. When Isabela Valotti approached me with the subject, I was quite interested. Life is a fine line between letting go and holding on. We have our own unique ways of dealing with grief. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair for everyone. The intimacy surrounding the film’s plot is what inspired me to work on it, “he says, adding that filming the movie ahead of the pandemic gave him more time with post-production.
Abhishek started his film career in Mumbai, producing award-winning advertisements before moving to Los Angeles. He has been actively producing music videos and shorts films. The young filmmaker opined that international exposure boosted his ideologies on filmmaking. “Every industry has its own disciplines— be it the east or west. We get good results if we have a good team. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some amazing talents in LA. Besides, The more people and cultures you come across, the better storyteller you become,” says Abhishek.
Even though he is all for international filmmaking, Abhishek is also looking forward to collaborating with talents in the Malayalam film industry. “I would love to produce or direct a Malayalam film based in New York and LA. There’s a thriving Malayali culture there. I’d love to explore that in the premise of a crime thriller, “concludes Abhishek. He is currently producing music videos for American RnB artist Four aka Jesse Cooley.