Dr Bernard Rieux had quickly realised the immediate, and perhaps, the long-term consequences of the words sent to him through a telegram-“Proclaim a state of plague Stop close the town”.
The Covid pandemic lockdown though led mankind to entrapment; many found their ways to reach out to the world through creative methods, arising perhaps from desperation for freedom.
The impact of a sudden shutdown on human relationships was aptly encapsulated by the author Albert Camus, in his book ‘The Plague’ through the words, “People linked together by close friendship, affection, or physical love found themselves reduced to hunting for tokens of their past communion within the compass of a ten-word telegram.”
A Kolkata girl, Antara RayChaudhuri, however, didn’t agree to restrict herself to telegrams but decided to make use of her filmmaking abilities to connect to the world using the lockdown as her theme. Antara made use of her laptop, mobile phone cameras and a crew of three people through virtual medium to make her debut film Tara (Star) – a story on unusual pairing at the backdrop of “quarantine” conveyed through selfie mobile camera lenses.
‘Tara’ depicts the relationship between a young man and an elderly woman and draws its strength from the script, music and performance which earned Antara her ticket to Hollywood. The film has recently been nominated as the ‘Best Lockdown Film’ in the Standalone Film Festival and Awards, 2021- a platform for independent filmmakers around the world.
Antara, a Masters in Psychology from Jadavpur University where she studied films as a subsidiary subject during her bachelor’s degree, went on to make her debut film hoping to reach out far and wide. Having tried her hand in the Bengali film industry she describes herself as a “creative and performing artiste”.
‘Tara’ in no time was also officially selected in film festivals, around the world. First-time Filmmakers Sessions May 2020 and Lift-off Sessions June 2020 of the Lift-Off Global Network, Pinewood Studios, Film From Home Festival 2020.
Antara has her fingers crossed as next month from 6 to 12 August, the grand award ceremony of Standalone Film Festival and Awards will be held at the TCL, Chinese Theater, Hollywood where apart from Tara, ‘The Cycle Girl’ by Kumaar Adarsh, ‘India and Mukhtara’ of Sahib Ahmed of Pakistan has also been nominated for the Best Lockdown Film.