Nirbhaya death anniv: Short-film ‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai’ bags top awards
‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai - Let Me Soar High', a 27-minute short-film that has come on the sixth death anniversary of 'Nirbhaya', has won 12 national and international awards in various categories.
‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai – Let Me Soar High’, a 27-minute short-film that has come on the sixth death anniversary of ‘Nirbhaya’, has won 12 national and international awards in various categories.
The film by Suujoy J Mukerji, 35-year-old son of legendary actor and filmmaker Joy Mukerji, points out that the world over women’s molestation and rape are a matter of concern, and the film is a story of guts, grit and glory.
Made in three days, it captures the triumph of a molestation victim and her family over stigma and agony. The film has come on the sixth death anniversary of Nirbhaya, who had died after her brutal gang rape in a moving Delhi bus.
“My film is about empowering victims of molestation and rape. The society, as a whole, needs to join in the effort to help victims of sexual abuse and crimes to regain their confidence and join the mainstream,” says Suujoy.
It has sensitively handled the complex issue of stigmatisation of the victims of sexual offences and seeks to educate and empower society to make the nation a safe place for daughters.
The awards that the film has won all over the globe includes the best film award at the UK’s Red Wood Film Festival, Top Shorts, Los Angeles, and Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, the 7th Delhi Shorts International Film Festival. At Kolkata, the film won the Virgin Spring Cinefest’s Golden Galaxy award for best film.
It has also won the best story award. The story and screenplay has been done by a noted Delhi-based income tax advocate Sunil Kapoor, who wears several hats – being an actor, author, poet, singer, pianist, etc. Four stories from this bestselling book ‘The Peacock Feather’ (jointly written by him and his identical twin chartered accountant brother Sudhir) have been picked up by Bollywood for making full scale feature films.
According to Kapoor, international awards to ‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai’ shows that the world over women’s molestation and rape are a matter of concern. “#MeToo” movement has shown us that it is an international phenomenon, and, that is why, the jury across the continents could connect to this Indian film,” he points out.
‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai’ film depicts the ordeal of a college girl who emerges from the lows of molestation, also features veteran actor Kanwaljeet Singh, who won the jury award for best actor at the Mumbai Film Festival. He has acted as a college professor and the molested girl’s father who believes in keeping pace with the changing times and encourages daughters to fulfill their dreams. Suujoy says that the film puts the spotlight and glorifies the woman who displays unflinching courage to overcome trauma.
‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai’ highlights the fact that when a women’s reputation is tarnished, or her modesty outrages, be it physical or mental, not only she bears the brunt but the entire family faces the undercurrent of the trauma. “A dent so deep that no amount of apology or retribution can swab away the inflicted pain,” says Suujoy and adds that “women need to be empowered, faith in humanity needs to be restored.”
The film chronicles the life of an 18-year-old college girl, Devika, who musters up the courage to erase the nightmarish experience and start afresh by resuming college studies and dance after the incident.
The film delicately captures the crucial role played by Devika’s peers and dance trainer, a role played by actor Mithun Chakraborty’s son Mahaakshay alias Mimoh, who inspires her to come out of the shadows and soar high. The powerful film shows how vibrant and vivacious teenager decides to open her wings and take flight after going through the harrowing experience.
According to him, the legal system either gives the culprits a lenient punishment under the cloak of ‘juvenile crimes’ or they peter out in time and walk scot free. They leave a dent so deep that the wounds may heal over time but the scars remain forever and remind the victim of the ordeal that fateful day.
Suujoy through his film, ‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai’, does not highlight the perpetrator or the victim in his quest for justice; rather he puts the spotlight and glorifies the woman – ‘The Survivor’ who displays great unflinching courage to overcome the insurmountable trauma. Be it ‘a rape’ or ‘an attempt’ to profane the dignity of a woman.