Published: 08th July 2020
Don't let it drop: How this Odia youth's documentary on water wastage is hot on the film festival circuit
The cinematographer for Last Drop is Swarup Ranjan and the sound mixing has been done by Pratap Kumar. The crew toured extensively to find the right locales to shoot this short documentary
Just a one-minute-long footage of water leaking from taps — this is what Last Drop is all about. But this recurring image of leaky faucets surely leaves an impact. No wonder it has been selected for the Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival 2020, Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival and is a semi-finalist at the Miami 4 Social Change Youth Film Festival. That's quite good for Nishith Sahasransu Ray's second film, right? A deep passion for cinema egged the 23-year-old on to the path of learning more about it academically, apart from watching gazillion movies, which he already was doing. "My policy initially was to just take the camera and shoot, I did not know anything about filmmaking," says the youngster.
The poster | (Pic: Nishith Sahasransu Ray)
After learning videography, photography and sound engineering for six months at the Biju Pattanaik Film & Television Institute of Odisha, Cuttack, he plunged into the world of filmmaking, carrying inspiration derived from watching the works of noted directors, like Manmohan Mahapatra and Sidharth Goutam, in his heart. Dustbin was his debut short film which harped on the importance of being kind and keeping the surroundings clean, Swachh Bharat basically.
So, how did the idea of Last Drop come to Nishith? The budding filmmaker says, "I travelled a lot across Odisha and witnessed how water is being taken for granted. It just flows, unattended, from taps and there is so much wastage. I started wondering: if five drops are wasted in a minute, how much would be wasted in 24 hours?" It was this Math that pushed him to make Last Drop. In June and July last year, Nishith came up with the concept and it was shot in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar in November. "I never expected that it would get selected at so many festivals, it was a pleasant surprise," he shares.
Nishith Sahasransu Ray | (Pic: Nishith Sahasransu Ray)
The lockdown has now got Nishith thinking about being shut in one's home and how that could affect the person's psyche. That's what's motivated him to make Trapped, a short film about a guy who is bored but is unable to step out of his house when he wants to. To know why, you'll have to watch the two-minute-nine-second-film. Across all three of his short films, dispensing of one social message or the other is common. "That's because I want to create an impact through my films," says the Cuttack-born youngster. The future for the young aspiring filmmaker is pursuing a job full-time while making short films on the side.
Fave filmmakers and what he's learnt from them
- Guru Dutt: The raw emotions he depicts
- Satyajit Ray: The way he tells a story
- Stanley Kubrick: The huge production design