New Delhi: In light of deadly novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Hot Docs Festival in Toronto, which is the world’s largest documentary film festival was in jeopardy. But now the Film Festival has decided to uphold and celebrate the spirit of movie making and film-makers, by showcasing a multi-platform ‘festival-at-home’ experience to its audience that kick-starts on May 28.
The only Indian film premiering at this prestigious international festival is Sona Mohapatra’s documentary ‘Shut Up Sona’. Directed by Deepti Gupta, the feature-length film resonates with every woman’s search for equal space in a culture ridden with millennia of misogyny. This is a film about music, art, social change, and a clashing of the ancient and the modern & this political story is told via the journey of Sona Mohapatra & her relentless fight for a voice.
Her unapologetic personality has been rendered beautifully in the 85-minute film that takes the audience through the alleys of Vrindavan to the doorstep of a Dargah, rooting it in the diverse culture of the country, & questioning the patriarchy even prevalent in the Uber cool alleyways of Bollywood.
The film that premiered at MAMI in 2019 and won a critics guild award there, has gone on to make a big impact at the Rotterdam Festival, Gotteborg Festival, even winning a special mention at Impact Docs Award.
Speaking about it, Sona says, "With the world locked down & in anxious times, music, storytelling, cinema & art play an even more important role in helping us get back on our feet as a society. I am grateful that 'Shut Up Sona' will find an entirely new audience in another part of the world through the Hot Docs Festival. I couldn’t have imagined that our film would be selected in these top festivals of the world when we were making it. That it is a universal story that is finding resonance across the globe validates my journey as an artist who has never felt restricted to being just a singer. I carry my country, it’s art, it’s present & its history within me. In telling my story, I hope to connect the disparate dots within my culture to build a narrative that portrays a more nuanced view of the hopes & aspirations of India."