Film by director Himachali selected for an international festival: The Tribune India

Shimla, January 8

The film “Clouds Messenger”, directed by Rahat Mahajan, a native of Nurpur in Kangra, has been shortlisted to be screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR)-2022.

The film features in the festival’s Tiger Competition segment, a platform for emerging film talent. A total of 14 films from around the world have been shortlisted for IFFR. The title of the film is inspired by the epic “Meghdoot” by the Sanskrit poet Kalidasa. It’s a coming-of-age story that brings together contemporary and ancient tales.

coming of age story

  • A total of 14 films from around the world have been shortlisted for the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR)-2022
  • ‘Clouds Messenger’ by Rahat Mahajan of Nurpur (pictured) is a coming-of-age story that brings together contemporary and ancient tales

Mahajan’s own boarding school experiences were the inspiration and they also provided the main location for the film in collaboration with the students and staff of his school, Lawrence School, Sanawar, Kasauli. “My sincere attempt with film is to marry form with feeling and create contemporary Indian mythology by weaving the oldest forms of storytelling with the newest, which is cinema,” says Mahajan, screenwriter, director and co-producer of the film.

His debut film, “Memoirs of an Apple”, won top prize at the IDPA Film Festival in 2006. He then began working in Bollywood, starting as an assistant director under Vishal Bhardwaj and eventually heading visual promotions for various movies.

The film shows how the uniformity, morning roll call, order and disciplined life at the prestigious boarding school do not excite 16-year-old Jaivardhan, who finds temporary respite in a photography studio.

The photography classes also introduce Jaivardhan to Tarini. Their meeting turns out to fulfill an age-old desire, which references a classic Indian tale about tragic lovers and an evil, jealous ruler. As the story unfolds, the two have fulfilled their roles as timeless lovers in a mythical tale, meeting in the present day after centuries of nostalgia, and leading to Tarini’s death in this lifetime as well. As the entire universe conspires to break the ancient curse, this story of undying love can only end if Jaivardhan travels to the Land of the Dead. —TNS

Darcy J. Skinner