Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri’s short film, Till Human Voices Wake Us has been selected for the Los Angeles Short Film Festival (called LA Shorts Fest in short), where it will be shown on the opening night, on September 3. The young woman from Ranaghat (where she spent part of her childhood) in West Bengal is a top fashion photographer in USA and a well-known advertising and short film-maker. Indrani is also the writer of this film. Significantly, the LA Shorts Fest is one of the few whose winners qualify to apply for nomination for the Oscars.
In Till Human Voices Wake Us, Indrani takes us on a mystical journey based on the ancient Celtic myths of Selkies, who live as seals in the sea but become human on land. The short film has been described in the festival website as “A dream within a dream of love, loss and Selkies – mythical creatures that are seals in water and enchanting women on land – who storm Manhattan when one of their kind falls for a drowning man.” TS Eliot's famous poem, ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’ also formed part of her inspiration.
The cast for the 11-minute short was assembled from a worldwide search and represents some of the most fabulous new modelling talent. Among others, the film stars well-known American actress, singer and model Lindsay Lohan in a major role, as a marine biologist named Lana, who discovers the Selkies and through whose eyes the story is told. The film is actually a plea to protect the sustainability of the oceans. According to Indrani, it is the greatest moral imperative to use every possible means to support the sustainability of the oceans, and that this film seeks to awaken people to action through beauty and art.
Indrani has said that Lindsay was brilliant in the role of the marine biologist who longs to share the freedom of the sea creatures she studies. The film has a Kolkata connection too, with the Bengali actor Shayan Munshi being a part of the cast. The film was also part of the official selection for the 2015 International Fashion Film Festival, held in La Jolla, USA last July.
Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri is also deeply involved in social work, being the administrator and chief fundraiser of the school she founded in Ranaghat, Ramakrishna Vedanta Society Vidyapith (part of Shakti Empowerment Education Foundation). The Princeton University graduate is also special advisor to the UN Global Millennium Development Foundation and director of the World Film Forum at the United Nations.
Written by Anushtup Haldar for Team M3.tv
Feature image: Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri; poster of the film (marketwired.com; imdb.com)