AAM KAHANI | SHORT FILM | 17 MIN | HINDI | DIRECTED BY UTKARSH THUKRAL

An unusual take on the serious intertwined topic of sexuality & rising population in India.

Aam Kahani is the story of young Pramod, who misses his father. His father, who had left long ago to work in some far away place, had never returned since he left, leaving Pramod on the whims of his old drunkard of an uncle. This film set in the simplicity of a Himalayan village is the story of Pramod, a boy whose father had left him in the supervision of his uncle, a mean old drunkard, to work in a far away place, & has not returned since he left. Pramod patiently waits for his father’s arrival mentioned in an old picture postcard of a mango that he carries with him, hidden in his pants. Since departure, his father had sent him mangoes that are now the only tangible source for him to feel his father’s presence in his life. Pramod’s ordeal continues as his father fails to return, leaving him to suffer on the whims of his uncle who blames Pramod’s father of abandoning his only son & shrugs responsibility. Pramod’s attempts of contacting his father fail as he copes with loneliness. On a fine day police arrives at their hut enquiring about Pramod’s father from the uncle & asks the uncle to come with them to the police station. Pramod, concerned, tries contacting his father but in vain as he discovers that his father is feared dead in a recent bus accident.

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CAST

Rakesh Bhardwaj

Dalip singh

CREW

Utkarsh Thukral

Writer & Director & Film editor

Vijay Kumar

Producer

Saimawn Si Shen

Cinematographer

Astha Sharma

Production & Costume Designer

 Maaria Sayed

Assistant Director

Nikhil Malik

Music Composer & Sound Designer

Rahul Kapoor

Sound Recordist

Jamie Dickinson

DI Colorist

Development
Utkarsh Thukral developed Aam Kahani as his graduation film for his Master’s project at The London Film School. Margaret Glover, who was the writer of Bollywood film ‘Kisna’ by Subhash Ghai, was the script supervising tutor on this project. Through this film, Utkarsh wanted to explore the quality of life, a child growing up in remote areas in his country has, what he or she lacks & how he or she wishes to overcome such obstacles of their daily lives. “I approached this film a lot like a documentary & therefore stuck to the observational style of filmmaking for it. A lot that I had written in the script had to be re imagined & re wrote after my recce’s. Such was the impact of landescape in people’s life that it was hard to be ignored. Even when filming I did not exclude some accidental things that were added to the scripted action. This was a unique experience for me as a filmmaker.“, equips Utkarsh, writer & director of the film.
Casting
The director of the film intended to work with real characters & therefore conducted month long casting workshops with the help of local coordinators amongst local tribals. Except one, all the cast members for the film were local tribesmen & women who, were selected from casting workshops. Dalip Singh who, played the role of Paternal Uncle in the film was found working at a street tea stall by a crew member & made it to the cast after a week-long conditioning workshop.
Production
The film was shot on Super 16mm color film format using Zeiss super 16 lenses. Simon Shen & Maaria Sayed, who were fellow students of Utkarsh Thukral assisted him in the production of this film. The film was shot on location in tribal villages & sectors & involved several crew & major cast members that were local tribals. Sounds used in the film were recorded at location by the sound department as the director wanted authenticity of time & space, a detail that has since stuck to his art form.
Post – Production
The film negative was processed & scanned in 2K resolution at Reliance Media works. The film was edited by Utkarsh himself & was color graded in U.K by DI colorist Jamie Dickinson at predator’s lab, London. Film’s professional Sound mixing & Dub was done by Mauricio D’Orey, London.
Accolades
The film premiered at Indian film festival Stuttgart & made it to their coffee book as the most soulful film. The film was also the official selection at Aspen International film festival, Indian film festival of Hague, Indian film festival Melbourne, Jaipur International film festival & Copenhagen international film festival.
Trivia
  • First film even on kangri tribal life.
  • All cast members were non actors.
  • Film in total has 3 minutes of dialogue.

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