Sisak – The First Indian Short Film to Win 34 International Awards
'Sisak' is India's first silent LGBTQIA love story, inspired by Japanese author Haruki Murakami's idea of incomplete love.
Director Faraz Arif Ansari’s film Sisak is not only India’s first silent, LGBTQ film but also the first short film from the country to win 34 global laurels ever. Faraz’s crew received the support of 109 funders via a crowdfunding campaign on Wishberry, through which the project collected Rs. 4 Lakhs. This covered the budgets for post-production and film festivals distribution.
Recently, Sisak won its 34th award by being recognized as the ‘Best Film’ at the ‘Best Shorts Competition, USA’. It has also been felicitated at festivals in Venezuela, Florence and Germany, winning in various categories like Screenplay, Production, Direction, Approach to Diversity and Overall Film too. Some prominent festivals that the film has been recognised at are ‘Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival’, ‘Festival Internacional de Diversidade Sexual e de Gênero de Goiás’ in Brazil, ‘FilmOut San Diego’ and ‘The London Indian Film Festival’.
The film is inspired by Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s idea of incomplete love. It features two men who meet in the famous Mumbai Local train over a period of many nights. There are no sentences spoken, nor is there any physical intimacy, just a wordless romance that seems cathartic in its fleetingness. The sound design of the film has been done by Filmfare recipient Pritam Das who has also worked on the film ‘Fan’, starring Shah Rukh Khan. Faraz has been working in the Indian film industry for the last 8 years as a Writer, Casting Director, Associate Director and Producer of films such as Stanley Ka Dabba and Gippy. Sisak is his second independent short film as a director.
“No one wanted to produce a film on homosexuality, the ‘silent’ film format made people even more apprehensive. The response I saw from the crowdfunding campaign was the opposite and it was eye-opening. Most of the money came from people who were not from the LGBTQ community, driving home the reality that India is ready to support and watch content-driven films, no matter what the theme may be. The fact that it has now gone on to break records and win 34 International Awards is humbling. I am thankful to each and every one of the 109 funders because of whom the world could appreciate an Indian short film,” says the director.
Anshulika Dubey, Co-founder and COO, Wishberry comments on the record-breaking milestone, “It is encouraging to see festival juries and the global audience come together to appreciate good cinema. Crowdfunding helps democratise creativity through supporting rare stories like Sisak. We are super proud of Faraz and his team for validating our belief in the power of united action.” All the funders were eligible for various perks like preview passes and producer credits in return for their funds.
Watch the International trailer here: