The short, starring a transperson, is one minute long and was shot on a mobile phone
Soumya Sadanandan’s one-minute-long short film, Rooh (soul), shot on a mobile phone, is about an individual embracing a new identity. The story unfolds through a phone call, WhatsApp messages and voice notes.
It is a big day in the life of the titular character. She is disheartened that her mother cannot understand her. Her friends, however, stand by her. She clears the shirts from her wardrobe and posts a photo on social media, all beaming in a sari, with the tag: ‘Woman, Transgender, Human.’
Anchor-actor-director Soumya says that she had made the film for an international short film festival. “We had to make it on a mobile phone and the subject was women empowerment. My friend, Rappamma, came up with this concept. We felt that it was an interesting topic to be included under the subject. Usually the lives of transpersons is projected in a way to evoke sympathy. However, I wanted a different take on that. They wish to be treated and accepted as normal people. Also, I wanted to show how friends stand by you in difficult times,” says Soumya, whose directorial début was the Kunchacko Boban-Nimisha Sajayan-starrer Mangalyam Thanthunanena.
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Playing Rooh is Krishna, a transperson and make-up artiste.
“While working with me in Mangalyam… she had told me to give her a chance to act in any of my ventures. When I contacted her for this film she was happy to be part of it because she could relate to the emotions of the character. Although Krishna had saved money for the sex-change operation, she had to spend it to buy a house because she was finding it difficult to find rented accommodation. Now she is saving each penny for the procedure,” says Soumya.
Rooh was shot on iPhone 12 and was wrapped within a day in Aluva, with an eight-member crew. The film is on YouTube.