Film on loneliness makes lasting impression

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Film on loneliness makes lasting impression
A scene from Jacob's Pond

Dubai-based Malayali's Hindi short film makes an entry to the 16th New York Film Festival

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 11 May 2016, 5:20 PM

Last updated: Thu 12 May 2016, 12:41 AM

What happens if one common factor binds a widower and pickpocket in a big city?
Sasha John, a Dubai-based Malayali, experimented a short film on this unusual bond and her efforts have paid off.
Sasha's Hindi short film, Jacob's Pond, made an entry to the 16th New York Film Festival and even secured a nomination in best child actor category.
The short film, which deals with loneliness in the big city and finding an unlikely friend within its people, is about 61-year-old retiree Jacob and 12-year-old pickpocket Iqbal.
Veteran theatre actor from Mumbai, Utkarsh Mazumdar, who has previously acted in the Gujarati film Saptapadii, plays Jacob.
Jacob, a widower, lives in a big, empty house that he shared with his wife.
After meeting Iqbal in the strangest way, they connect during the day. They spend time together and this forms the core of the short dramatic film with English subtitles.
"Making lasting connections with people is always what I try and covey through my films," said Sasha.
"This is a story about unlikely relationships, and I think in a country as diverse and unpredictable as India, what makes us truly Indian is the ability to empathise with a stranger's story.
"The generative image that I always had in my mind was the hordes of people coming out of local trains at the VT station platforms in Mumbai, India, during rush hour," she said.
"People go about their day, in their own little bubble and then they return home to their families.
"I always wondered what it would be like for an old man, who maybe had no one to come back home to. That was how the character of Jacob in this film was born."
Jacob's Pond takes its title as a metaphor for the protagonist's isolation.
The world of films is not new for Sasha. She has earlier worked for DAR Motion Pictures in Mumbai, assisting the creative team on the critically acclaimed film The Lunchbox.
She has also worked on the sets as an assistant to the creative producer for films including D-Day and Mickey Virus.
Sasha now plans on pursuing a career in films and is currently finalising the script for a feature film, which is set in Kerala, India.

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