A lot has changed since many countries in the world got locked down due to COVID-19. With theatres and stadiums being closed, most forms of entertainment have moved online. Concerts are being conducted online, actors are shooting their individual parts from home for films, and movies are releasing directly online too.
While Cannes film festival and some more festivals have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, the Hot Docs festival has taken the online route. Dubbed as the largest documentary film festival in North America, the organisers were forced to take the decision after rescheduling it earlier.
“Over a month ago when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, we took the unprecedented step of postponing the public festival anticipating that we would soon be able to reschedule it,” Hot Docs’ executive director Brett Hendrie was quoted as saying in a statement.
He added, “But now, given the ongoing uncertainly around when live festivals and other large gatherings may safely be held, we are fortunate to have this option to bring these outstanding films to our audiences.”
The festival, that kicked off on May 28, is screening 135 films in all, including 91 features and mid-length titles.
The only film representing India is Sona Mohapatra’s Shut Up Sona. The singer had shared the official poster featuring her on social media, expressing pride about being the only Indian film, while urging those living in Ontario, Canada to watch the film, and even vote for them to stand a chance at the Oscars.
The Ambasariya artist added that the ‘incredible journey of love & exploration’ had taken her and the director Deepti Gupta three years and that she ‘felt blessed’ to share it with all.
We are the only Indian film in the official selection of the prestigious #HotDocs2020 Canada & our #NorthAmerica Online #Premiere is just a couple of days away! If you know anyone staying in the state of Ontario, Canada, please ask them to watch by booking their tickets, #linkinbio & also #vote to help us get an audience award & see #India at the #Oscars !!! #Director @deeptigupta & #me made this incredible journey of love & exploration for three years & feel blessed to share it with you all. #sonamohapatra #wemadeamovie #solidarity #sisterhood
The 85-minute short film is available at the Hot Docs website till June 10. Sona, apart from starring it and producing the film, has also co-composed the music with husband Ram Sampath.
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