Filmmaker Abhijit Das' five-series short film, Unlocked, transcends boundaries and fights stereotypes
Abhijit Das calls Unlocked, his series of short films, a weird form of storytelling. The reason behind the odd definition of the five-film series is that the filmmaker ended up working with actors of five different countries, without even meeting them. Shot on the mobile phone under his direction, Das, who is known for starting LargeShortFilms collaborated with actors from the USA, UK, Pakistan, Sweden and Bangladesh. The film stars actors like Smriti Kalra, Jason Tham, Taha Khan, Niki Walia, Shahana Bajpai and others. Two films, among the lot, is already airing and the rest will be screened soon.
Das looks at the lockdown from a positive prism and questions, “Why can’t lockdown be about unlocking things, instead of thinking of it to be all bad? Isn’t that what we all are doing? Reflecting, introspecting, connecting with people.” And this perception of the 45-year-old Mumbai-based director formed the genesis of the project. Each of the films, Das informs fights stereotypes. He says, “The first film, The Stranger, fights racism and the second one tries to debunk the myth that all Pakistanis are terrorists.” The films are also about unlocking secrets, he points out further.
Talking about the challenges, Das who is known for the popular webseries Kehne Ko Hai Humsafar 3, tells us, “Unlocked is a weird form of story-telling. I have never been to countries the films were shot in, neither have I met the actors. I didn’t even know how good or bad the location was. The experience was challenging but it also taught us that there are infinite possibilities if we want to do anything. And the most interesting fact is that it taught us to trust each other despite being complete strangers.”
Das is most comfortable with short films, which he calls the toughest storytelling medium, and he strongly believes that in future this format will become a viable business model. An animal lover, he lives with nine dogs and five cats and his next film, Dogs, Cats and Crows, will talk about lockdown from their perspective. A couple of webseries is also in the pipeline.