Life at crossroads
Independent filmmaker Pooja’s latest short film Amamma, starring Padma Shri B Jayashree is based on a sensitive topic of the elderly’s need for companionship
A woman in the course of her busy life sometimes forgets about her personal needs. It could be anything as small as ‘me-time’ to something life-changing like having a companion at a later stage in life. Independent filmmaker Pooja Sampath’s latest short film Amamma is based on a sensitive topic of elderly people talking about their need for companionship. The film stars Padma Shri B Jayashree, Samyukta Hornad and architect Naresh V Narasimhan.
In the movie, an elderly woman, played by Jayashree, is confused about having a companion in her life. Sampath says the movie is inspired from a conversation she had with her grandmother, who is no more. “Though she was my father’s mother, I somehow called her Amamma – which means mother’s mother. I lost my grandfather at a very early age and my grandmother spent 30 years of her life without a companion. So we had a discussion on this earlier,” says Sampath, who lost her grandmother two years ago.
Sampath, who has written and directed the film, believes that the bond between a grandmother and granddaughter is sometimes so special that it varies from being a mentor to a confidant. For her 18-minute-long movie she wanted Hornad to play the granddaughter’s part. “But I was not ever sure about who could play the lead character, so I decided to wait. Later, B Jayashree stepped in to play the part,” says Sampath.
Many might call it an “edgy or out-of-the-box topic” to explore, but Sampath feels these stories are part of life. “My work mostly comes from observing my surroundings. And I don’t believe these topics should cater to a niche audience,” she adds.
The movie was shot in a studio in Bengaluru. It took her a few days of rehearsal and three days of shooting to finish the movie. However, Sampath is not planning to release it as of now. “I am planning to come up with a few more movies and create an anthology of four stories,” says Sampath, adding that the film will be made in both Kannada and English.
The first film in the anthology, Notary, which is co-produced by actor and comic Sumukhi Suresh and directed by Vivek Ram, has been screened in 25 film festivals and has already won many accolades, nationally and internationally.
Short film Notary, which is written and directed by Pooja Sampath, speaks about two notary officers who have been working in the same office for years but something has changed between them. This 15-minute film stars Siddhant and Ravikiran Rajendranis and is produced by Sumukhi Suresh and Vivek Ram. The movie was selected for various film festivals like the Mumbai Shorts International film festivals, Beyond Earth Film Festival, Kolkata, Lift off Global Network Sessions, UK, 10th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival to name a few. Sampath was also nominated as the best debut filmmaker for the movie.