Short film ‘VOICEE’ draws attention to the dark side of technology

Sanil Thomas as the protagonist in the short film, ‘VOICEE’, he has directed   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Short film, VOICEE, directed by Sanil Thomas, looks at how human beings become pawns in a tech-driven world. A petty thief, Rajan, steals a bag not knowing that there is a phone inside it. Moreover, the device has a test voice commanding application, VOICEE, incorporated with Artificial Intelligence, downloaded in it. Soon the application takes control over Rajan’s life and he commits one serious crime after the other. And it is too late by the time military intelligence officials locate the phone.

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“In one of my scripts, a thief takes the help of a smart phone to locate his target. It was planned as a humorous narrative. That’s when I wondered what if there is a voice that actually commands and, eventually, I wrote this story. It is a fictitious scenario, but we can’t rule out the possibility. I wanted to place it in the life of a gullible common man rather than a person familiar with new-age phones and gadgets,” says Sanil, a lawyer in Thiruvananthapuram.

He stresses that, “technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master. We have seen technology being misused in so many ways, especially when there is no such thing as privacy and all the personal information is out there,” he adds. Script is by John M Prasad. The 34-minute film has been in the making since 2018 and was completed last year.

A still from the short film ‘VOICEE’

A still from the short film ‘VOICEE’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Sanil impresses as the protagonist Rajan. “It was meant to be done by another actor. But I had to step in due to some reasons,” he laughs. Although cinema has been a passion, there was no one to handhold him. So he waited until he finished his studies. “I wanted to learn direction, but didn’t have much time to spare from my profession. So I was always on the lookout for short-term courses and workshops. That’s how I attended sessions at Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares and Adishakti, Auroville,” Sanil says.

However, much of the learning happened when he met national award-winning audiographer/sound engineer MR Rajakrishnan in Chennai. “I used to be a regular at Four Frames Sound Company [owned by Priyadarsan] where he is the chief sound engineer and it was there that I met several directors from the south Indian film industry. Interactions with them taught me a lot about filmmaking. It was Rajakrishnan who encouraged me to direct my first short film, Soul, which was an experimental work,” he adds. Rajakrishnan has done the sound mixing in VOICEE.

VOICEE is available on Satyam Videos’ YouTube channel.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 2:32:43 PM |

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