Filmmaker Sahirr Sethhi: Every story is a quest

Filmmaker Sahirr Sethhi: Every story is a quest. by .
Filmmaker Sahirr Sethhi: Every story is a quest.
Advertisement

BY ARUNDHUTI BANERJEE

Filmmaker Sahirr Sethhi: Every story is a quest. by .
Filmmaker Sahirr Sethhi: Every story is a quest.

“I remember my experience of seeing a tiger in the wild for the first time. It was just six feet away from me. It was so majestic that I was captivated! I started reading about how tigers are facing difficulties due to hunting and poaching, how their numbers are depleting et cetera. I just felt the urge of telling the story, not as the work of a storyteller, but telling a story with a deep sense of resonance,” Sahirr told IANS.

The director added: “It is never the same when we see a tiger in a photograph or on the big screen as opposed to seeing it in reality. Trust me, it will be a privilege for the next generation to see a tiger in the wild, and will only be possible if we do our bit to protect and preserve the tiger. In the film, the protagonist, Dr Rajeev Kapoor (played by Rajesh Tailang) is working every single day to preserve the tiger and for that privilege of watching them in the wild.”

Filmmaker Sahirr Sethhi: Every story is a quest. by .
Filmmaker Sahirr Sethhi: Every story is a quest.

“Zoya” was shot in 2015 and the film has travelled to several festivals internationally.

Sharing the insight into the script, Sahirr said: “For me, every story is a quest. Every character embarks on a quest. The story of Zoya is not just the story of a conservationist looking for a missing tiger. It is also his internal quest that is philosophical. So, there is a strong subtextual pattern between his internal and external quest.”

Why did he choose to tell the story in fiction instead of a documentary? “Film is a visceral art form that captures your imagination and evokes a certain emotion that engages all our sense. A documentary would have not created that impact. Also, my aim is to create awareness without treating it like one. The narrative has to convey a feeling. That is why I chose fiction,” he said.

The short film features Rajesh Tailang, Manjot Singh and Geeta Agrawal Sharma.

According to the director, both Rajesh and Manjot were apt for the story.

“Mr Tailang has an ability to create empathy and evoke emotions in a very sublime manner. His face conveys something that is very interesting. At the same time he could be a stoical persona with great depth of emotion. That duality was required for the character,” he said.

While on Manjot, he added: “When I met Manjot in 2015, he had an innocent face and his screen presence brings a smile on your face. He looks very likable on screen. Of course he is a very talented actor. He quite easily conveys a humanistic empathy. Empathy is the keyword for the story that we intend to tell,” shared Sahirr.

The film “Zoya” is available on MUBI India app.