Filmmaker Lekshmi Pushpa says her short film Kombal was inspired by the lives of the everyday women she has met.
Lekshmi won the best director for the film, which was screened at the monthly Cannes World Film Festival in October. The film will be one of the entries at the Cannes World Film Festival — Remember the Future’s annual competition in 2022.
Kombal , which roughly translates to girl, depicts a middle-aged woman’s daily struggle to live. Trapped in an oppressive environment at home, she finds solace in taking care of her pet hen and chicks. “The story is built around an incident that pushes her into an abyss of pain and hopelessness,” she says.
“An entry at Cannes World Film Festival is a huge encouragement. The selection process involved multiple rounds, and it had some of the best films from around the world. I consider it an achievement to have been able to tell a story from my region for a global audience,” says Ms. Pushpa, who hails from Andoorkonam in Thiruvananthapuram.
Shot at Pangode in Thiruvananthapuram, the 20-minute film has been winning accolades in the Indian festival circuit. It won over 12 awards, including those for best actor, screenplay, direction, background score, and sound design. It was the ‘best film’ at the Blackboard International Film Festival and the ‘second best film’ at IFTA Short Film Festival. Jolly Chirayath won the best actor award for her lead role in the Museum Talkies International Film Festival and the Madras Independent Film Festival.
Ms. Pushpa’s debut short film, Ama , also dwelt on the female experience. “What I express through my films is a natural extension of what I have seen, felt and gone through as a woman,” she says.
Scripted by Arathi M.R., Kombal was produced by Preeya Nair and P.V. Omana. Sreerag Mangatt has done the cinematography, and background music is by Basil C.J.
Currently working in the Information and Public Relations Department, Lekshmi has earlier worked in films as an assistant director.