SIFTER, 8min., USA, Comedy/Drama
Directed by Shalini Bathina
Samara and Nisha celebrate their first Karva Chauth as a married couple but the festival brings up suppressed emotions between the pair.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I’ve been an actress my whole career and wanted to take a stab at working behind the camera. I was looking for a story that I had an emotional connection to, that I knew I would be passionate about, and that could be fun for my first time directing a film. Most importantly, I wanted to work with people who are like minded and who I work well with! Ria Patel, our wonderful writer and long time friend, sent over Sifter and lo and behold, we got a great cast and crew and went for it.
Make movies with your friends, I highly recommend it.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I think it was a total of around 6 months, with a very long break in between due to life reasons.
But it was a total of 2 months of work.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Funny and honest.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle was to keep it under budget with a pretty limited crew, along with some sound issues because of working in a restaurant. Fortunately, we have a pretty great sound mixer, Ben Huff!
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
We were so pleased! It was such sweet feedback and we also very much appreciated the recognition of cultural differences and how both of the characters had a point and neither was wrong.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I’ve always been a Theatre girl at heart, but film made its way into my life during college. While studying Theater at USC, I also completed a minor in Cinema Arts. Once I saw the potential for so many different types of storytelling through film, including how much diversity was needed, I was hooked. And I love all kinds of genres, languages, and styles of film!
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
How to Train Your Dragon. It’s the best. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it right now!
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
We love the support, and the promotion of our film, cast and crew! We’ve all been in the industry for a long time, so to have a supportive network of passionate filmmakers is incredible.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It’s been great! We’ve used this site many times for other shorts and it’s an easy-to-use platform!
10. What is your favorite meal?
My mom’s chicken curry. I could eat it every day 🙂
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Sean Cruser and I are working on a feature film that we are very excited for. This will be our 7th film together! And I’m working on pre-production for another short film with a group of incredible female filmmakers and dancers. Our other lead for Sifter, Sharayu Mahale is cast in it as well!