Anita, a Gujarati short film directed by Sushma Kadhepaun will be the first ever Gujarati film to premiere at the ongoing Venice Film Festival, the world’s oldest film festival. The movie is competing in the Orizzonti Short Films Competition section. The other Indian films premiering at the festival include Chaitanya Tanhane’s The Disciple and Ivan Ayr’s Meel Patthar.
The 17 minute film has Aditi Vasudev and Mitra Gadhvi as the protagonists. Aditi and Mitra have played the role of Anita and Vikram who are a married couple. The couple visits India from the US for a wedding. During this visit, Anita confronts the patriarchy and toxic conditioning of the Indian society. The film is about a women who even though has left India is unable to get rid of the toxic societal conditioning and gender bias. Anita, a homemaker dreams of doing a job and asks her husband to talk to her father about this. She, like any other woman, faces two questions, Who will take care of the food? Is the husband facing any kind of financial troubles? This film is a resolute representation of a woman trying to break through the gender roles assigned to her by society as she explores patriarchy through various themes.
“The story is inspired from my personal experience of moving to the US. Like many people around the world, I grew up with the belief that a woman who moves to America lives an exciting, independent life. Anita is an exploration of this myth of the independent, expat wife and questions if it is truly possible to move away from societal conditioning that is toxic yet familiar,” said the writer-director, quoted by Indian Express.
This film that talks about the rigid traditional expectations of a society from women without knowing her desires was at first supposed to be filmed in the US. Due to financial issues the location however shifted to India. According to the director the location has played a significant role in the film. The producer, Ankur Singh, stepped in as the location changed to India. The film was shot in the empty home of a family friend of the director. The neighbours supplied furniture and food for the crew during the four-days of shooting.
About The Venice Film Festival:
This year, the festival started from 2 September and will end on 12 September at Venice Lido. It has been organised by La Biennale di Venezia and directed by Alberto Barbera. The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote international cinema in all its forms as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and dialogue. The International Federation of Film Producers Association has officially recognized the festival. It is the oldest film festival of the world.
Arunima Sharma is an intern with SheThePeople.TV