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This documentary about animal rescue is ‘a labour of love for the voiceless’

Shraddha Kapoor with her dog Shylo  

The Tails of Boo-Boo & Cuddly Poo, a documentary on stray cats and dogs, is laced with humour, style, colour and loads of ‘aww’ factor.

Shot by filmmaker Salil Jason Fernandez — who has worked on Khauff (2015) and The Mole (2008) — and Vandana Sethhi, founder of Water Communications and Earth Films, the film features actors Shraddha Kapoor, Jim Sarbh, Amrita Puri and Samir Kochhar, VJ Maria Goretti, musician Anushka Manchanda, musician-actor Shibani Dandekar, comedians Cyrus Broacha and Atul Khatri, hairstylist Sapna Bhavnani, author Shaheen Bhatt, and influencer Scherezade Shroff.

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Salil Jason Fernandez

Salil Jason Fernandez  

All these animal lovers come together to give the world a message — ‘adopt, not shop’. Through the film the makers want to show the plight of community animals with a focus on cruelty, abandonment, rescue and love. A two-minute trailer was launched recently.

Salil Jason says it is a documentary that deals with animal cruelty. He explains, “We have made sure to make it appealing, I wanted to make a documentary that is stylish without losing the real essence for which the movie was conceptualised.”

Society in mind

Shot entirely during the lockdown, the documentary involved 30 organisations including World For All (WFA), In Defense of Animals (IDA), Youth Organisation in Defense of Animals (YODA), Welfare of Stray Dogs (WSD), Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) and Thane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) making this a milestone with animal welfare units coming together.

Vandana Sethi

Vandana Sethi  

The documentary, with all its endearing elements, focusses on education and the message of healthy co-existence as well.

Actor Jim Sarbh says, “My life changed when Mimi walked into it; she’s been my reason for sanity during the lockdown. I think everyone should adopt an animal, give them love and a home, for the love you get back is manifold.”

Having worked for many years with rescue organisations Salil says he wanted a different narrative for his documentary “We would like to think that we have a first-of-its-kind documentary narrative with a unique approach that blends the non-fiction talking heads with various fiction elements. The universal message of the documentary is about embracing these dogs and cats. If we are able to educate and inspire the audience in this regard then we have struck gold.”

A collaborative message

The different narrative, he adds, hopes to make young people more aware and concerned about community cats and dogs. Vandana Sethhi says, “our aim is to raise awareness and convey a message about the poor situation of stray animals. This is a joint effort that features several organisations and individuals coming together and the entire project is pro bono ie, everyone collaborating in front of and behind the camera has waived their fee. It is truly a passion-driven film and a labour of love for the voiceless.”

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The documentary is currently travelling the international film festival circuit and is sure to appeal to millennials. The duo reasons, “Millennials are different. Their thought process is influenced in a positive way with a lot of good content they get to see on social media. It is not always about taking a stray animal home. If that is not possible, feed them, educate the society about tolerance and sterilisation.” Vandana also calls the documentary a mega movement for the cause of animal welfare which is sure to raise the standards of documentary films on animals.

Jim Sarbh with his pet cat

Jim Sarbh with his pet cat  

Shraddha Kapoor, who features in The Tails of Boo-Boo & Cuddly Poo, says, “I loved being part of the documentary and hope this brings awareness to the plight of the stray animals especially since the monsoons are ongoing. Shylo is such an integral part of my life and I can’t imagine my life without him. I would want everyone to have that happiness in their life.”


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 4:30:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/tails-of-boo-boo-cuddly-poo-documentary-salil-jason-fernandez-vandana-sethi/article35557242.ece

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