Voices that matter

Shani Hafees’ award-winning music video explores the mother-daughter bond in a new light

Voices that matter

Shani Hafees is living the dream, which she has been working towards for a long time. A trained carnatic singer, she had always wanted to sing with her daughter Reyah Fatima. Her music video, Marupinranthaal (Rebirth), in which Shani has sung with her daughter is the result of a 10-year wait. “I had to wait for her voice to get rounded and once I felt she was ready, we started work on the project.”

Marupiranthaal does not portray the stereotypical mother-daughter relationship. It tells the story of a transgender sex worker, who finds a baby girl, whom she adopts and raises as her own. The video delves into the deeper layers of physical and emotional empowerment of women. “I wanted to explore the mother-daughter relationship in a different angle. This is a story that addresses multiple issues that concern women,” Shani says.


Voices that matter

The video has been selected as the official entry to over 10 film and documentary festivals and has recently won an award at the International Thai Film Festival (2019).

An Ayurveda doctor, who runs her own centre, Ayurdha Naturals, Shani is also a poet, writer and aspiring filmmaker. She is the co-producer of a Malayalam music album called Pennal, two parts of which were recently released on YouTube, which is a tribute to the different phases in a woman’s life.

The story of Marupirandhaal takes place in a village in Tamil Nadu. And the song, in Tamil, has been penned by Ruxeena Musthafa, while the concept for the video, script and production were by Shani. When friend and filmmaker Adarsh Krishna expressed interest in the project, Shani got him on board.Whether music, literature or the arts, it has to tell a story, believes Shani. “In that respect, I wanted Marupiranthaal to be a wake-up call. The song has the girl singing, ‘Don’t ask me to change... it is they (the world) that has to.’ It is a take on the ugly side of patriarchy and marginalisation.” Transgender makeup artist Renju Renjimar has essayed the lead role and Rose Sherin Ansari plays the daughter.

The music has been composed by Eldho John and the camera is by Abi Reji. The video has been edited by Premsai.

Voices that matter

The album won awards at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, the Buddha International Film Festival, Pune, Festigious International Film Festival, Los Angeles and won a bronze medal at the Global Music Awards, California. It is also an official selection to the LGBTQ Shorts Film Festical, United States.

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Printable version | May 24, 2020 11:44:45 PM |

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