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Debutante director Somshukhlla makes her global mark with ‘Sandcastle’

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MUMBAI: Sandcastle, a simple film with a complex message, written and directed by Indian debutante director Shomshukhlla has been nominated at several International Film Festivals including the Tenerife and London International Film Festival and screening in Hollywood LA Femme Fest.

The film is about the journey of a woman in modern India finding her identity. It will be screened at Hollywood’s LA Femme Film Festival at the Regal Stadium 14 La Live, and has been nominated in the Best Foreign Language Feature Film category at the London International Film Festival (LIFF) 2013. The film also had four nominations at the Tenerife International Film Festival 2013 in London on October 12, including nods for Best Feature Film, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Cinematography.

Some important and rather poignant messages are conjured up in this bright and beautiful journey of a woman building her life. The ending is settling and although the film has had its share of surreal moments, Sandcastle reads much like a wonderfully crafted manuscript.

“The film addresses the unsatisfied longings of a seemingly comfortable middle-class Indian woman. India is waking up to good stories, with substance, new voices, ideas and perspectives, redefining the lost glory of story-telling. I am lucky that I am getting to be a part of it,” says Somshuklla.

Sandcastle tells the story of Sheila, (Shahana Chatterjee) whose upper middle-class life in India isn’t as perfect as she hoped it would be. Sheila is a home-maker, an aspiring writer and loving mother. From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem like she has the perfect life. Her husband is a wealthy advertising maverick and she is part of the elite middle-class of Indian society. But like the shifting of the sands, is it all slipping through her fingers? How will she build her own dreams? In all that she has, does she really have a voice of her own?

The story of Sandcastle reflects one’s belief in the ability to build a perfect life. But even in perfection there is emptiness and wanting. What is perfect to one person is misery for another. The film focuses on contemporary women in urban India and the changes in society that have moulded these women as an independent and self directing force of nature. Shomshuklla shows two colliding worlds of fateful acceptance and feminine Indian independence and individuality.

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