DEATH BY CONDOM | SHORT FILM | 15 MIN | HINDI | DIRECTED BY UTKARSH THUKRAL

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

Death By Condom is a 2020 Indian short film, written & directed by Utkarsh Thukral. The film revolves around a patriarch who, stumbles upon a box of imported condoms about which he has no “know how.” The events that unfold lead to disastrous yet, hilarious results. The fictional film is an unusual take on the serious intertwined topic of sexuality & rising population in India. A population, which, in general, has an antipathy towards the use of contraceptives.

The movie depicts Indian life scenarios in a Fibonacci series of stupidity in this patriarch’s life, which are born out of clear denials & misunderstandings about sex, the basis of life, making him perceive good as absurd, and truth as false.

Death By Condom premiered at the 2020 Lift off Global sessions. As of now, the film has been screened in 11 international film festivals. It was selected as a finalist under 25 minutes fiction film at the 26th International Film Festival Golden Beggar. It was also an official selection at 2020 edition of Miami Short Film Festival, 2021 Jaipur International Film Festival & has won the highest commendation at London Worldwide Comedy Short Film Festival 2020. It was also a semi finalist at Assurdo Film Festival. The film won Gold Award at Virgin Cine fest 2020. The film premiered on OTT with Shorted India where it was also awarded Short film of the month award.

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CAST

Vimal Uniyal

Sandhya Bhatia

Sonam Ohri

Ankita Tamang

Bhavya Mehta

Ramneek Kaur

Shweta Singh

Hema Rawat

CREW

Utkarsh Thukral

Writer & Director

Vijay Kumar

Producer

Anshul Uniyal

Cinematographer

Astha Sharma

Production & Costume Designer

Samridhi Thukral

Hair & Makeup

Anshul Jain

Music Composer & Sound Designer

Bhavesh Sharma

Sound Recordist

Saurabh Rawat

DI Colorist

Raj Kashyap

Set Photographer

Development

The idea of the film is based on a real life experience that Utkarsh had in his later teen years. He was playing street cricket with his neighborhood buddies, when the ball was hit away for a six and the fielder found a box of condoms, while looking for the ball. Not knowing what the product was, he declared it as a box of chewing gums. After a brief inspection of the box and on hearing about it, every boy of the team pounced. While, some got to eat full condoms, rest got to share pieces between them. It was later discovered in the day that, the perceived gum was a condom. The introduction of condom in our lives was not the way it was supposed to be.

“This experience always remained in my teen memory & as I questioned its validity more & more as I grew up, I had hard facts to digest. Most of the Indians are still embarrassed to buy condoms due to smirks & winks that it can accompany.” claims Utkarsh. Moreover, a culture of patriarchy is prevalent in our country, where, virginity is still worshiped, the topic of sex in families is considered taboo with little or no discussion around the same.

Culturally, men & women should keep a healthy distance, dress appropriately & if you have to indulge in any form of love making, it should be done behind locked doors with the room lights off.  Sexual desires in the youth and even the elderly are abstained and healthy knowledge about sex, a dream to be accomplished.

“I wrote & directed this film just to show the fatuous knowledge that Indians have about sex, due to a sort of antipathy towards the topic.” Utkarsh says.

Film’s Casting

Casting for this film faced many hurdles as most of the actors who auditioned declined to do the final scene where, they were supposed to eat condoms. “To get the casting right is everything & casting for death by condom was not at all easy.  Many actors whom we auditioned refused to put condom in their mouth citing various reasons like condom is poisonous. One actor even went on to say that condoms come laced with animal semen which, I found to be shocking. It made me realize that most of the people have such ideas about condom possibly because they have never used it. Thus, making our resolve to tell the story even more. ” says Vijay Kumar the producer of the film.

Finally after months of grueling casting process, a group of dedicated actors who truly believed in the message of the film were taken on board. A three day workshop was undertaken with the actors before the principal photography commenced.

Production

The Film was shot on location, in Oct 2019, New Delhi, with a schedule of 4 days. Anshul Uniyal was the cinematographer for the project & Asthasoom Sharma designed the production & did costumes. The filming involved scenes with condoms on real locations that involved interactions with non-actors or real people, who were later revealed & signed as cast and added to the film. The final scene of the film where children eat condoms was performed under strict supervision of their families & a visiting doctor.

Post – production

The post production of the film was completed at Swastika Films, New Delhi. The indulgent post production lasted 5 months that included film editing, VFX & Digital Intermediate. Original Music & sound design for the film has been done by Anshul Jain.

Accolades

The film won Gold award at Virgin cine fest 2020 & was also awarded Short film of the month at Shorted India. The film made it to the finals at the 26th International Film Festival Golden Beggar, under the 25 minutes fiction category & has won the Highest Commendation award at the London Comedy Short Film Festival 2020. The film was adjudged semi finalist at Assurdo Film Festival.

Indian Censorship

The film has been certified by the central board of film certification & was given an A certificate without any cuts.

Trivia

  • Condoms that the actors ate were real flavored condoms.
  • First movie ever to show characters eating condoms.
  • Park love making scenes were shot with real unaware people.

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