The 68th Cannes Film Festival is in for a treat as Pakistani short film Baat Cheet is set to be featured at the annual film festival in France.
This may not be the first time a Pakistani film is being screened at Cannes Film Festival but it surely is a proud moment for the country once again.
The short film written, produced and directed by Rayika Choudri stars Sarwat Gilani and Joshinder Chaggar in leading roles.
“In one respect, I’d say this film is an essay on coping mechanisms. The various episodes discussed show different ways in which people manage emotional crises,” Choudri told The Express Tribune.
Choudri said the inspiration for the film came from the emotional fragility of humans.
“I had certain images and notions circulating in my mind for some time and eventually, I realised that they all converged onto this one point and onto the question then of how we navigate this emotional terrain,” she added.
Elaborating on the role of her lead actors, Sarwat Gillani and Joshinder Chaggar, Choudri said, “The main characters are close friends and their very act of confiding in each other is one way of coping.”
“Although, we see here that there are limitations on how effective this can be — sometimes it feels good to talk to someone and sometimes we feel misunderstood and alone even when we do.”
But the film also has a powerful aspect of humour. “That idea is represented by an account of a mugger who is having a bad day,” she added.
Different from drama serials and films themselves, actor Sarwat Gilani said, “Mostly in drama serials I have a lot of margin to influence my viewers with a dialogue-based performance with the spoken words. While in a short film one gets very little time to leave an impression on the viewer, so packing the punch is required.”
“Baat Cheet, in particular, was less dialogues and more performance based which I thoroughly enjoyed,” she added.
Gilani claimed she fell in love with the story the moment Choudri told her about it.
“It was different from everything I had done for television. I was very excited to be part of the team.”
Gloating with pride over being featured in Cannes, the actor said, “It’s always a pleasure to be recognised as a talented nation, especially when the platform is the entire world.”
“I am delighted that our film made it to Cannes … and most happy that it has already won three gold awards in Indonesia.”
Apart from being featured in Cannes, the short film has already paved its way on the international stage as it bagged three gold awards at the Documentary & Short International Movie Awards 2015 in Indonesia for the categories of directing, newcomer and International short film.
“It feels great to be participating in the Cannes Film Festival! I’m so excited by the opportunity,” the director added.
Further, Misha Rizvi, the assistant director of the film who will also be travelling to Cannes with Choudri to represent the film said, “I am grateful to be part of such projects that receive international recognition. These are factors that one doesn’t think of while either picking a project or while working on it, but it’s lovely when it happens.”
“I am very excited to be representing the film and Pakistan at Cannes,” Rizvi, an Emmy winning documentary filmmaker, added.
The 68th annual Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to be held from May 13 to May 24 May in France. ‘Baat Cheet’ will be a part of a broad showcase of short films from around the world at the annual film festival.