Celluloid dreams

Sahirr Sethhi, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker from Mumbai, who has worked in the technical team of Hollywood hits such as Life of Pi and the Mission Impossible series, has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for his upcoming short film California Dreaming

A lottery addict, a helpless wife, a multi-million dollar jackpot and an armed robbery sound like a perfect recipe for an entertaining feature film.

A still from the movie Calfornia Dreaming
A still from the movie Calfornia Dreaming

But director Sahirr Sethhi, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, plans to showcase all this and more in his 10-minute short film titled California Dreaming, which is based on the Natyashashtra theory of nine emotions.

Filmmaker Sahirr Sethhi
Filmmaker Sahirr Sethhi

Since the film’s budget is $25,000, earlier this month Sethhi launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the same. He has already pooled in his personal savings, won a scholarship from The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences and the Joseph Drown Foundation and shot some portions of the film.

He aims to raise the remaining $15,000 through Kickstarter, the global crowdfunding platform, to finish filming the rest of the movie. His earlier short film Adrak was made on a meagre budget of $80 and garnered over 83,000 views on YouTube.

The secret of success
The 27-year-old, however, points out that though finance is a major issue while making a film, a good script and a talented team also play an equally important role.

“Everyone on the California Dreaming’s team is working free of cost because they believe in the story, which speaks about nine rasas, such as Sringar (beauty), Hasyam (laughter), Raudram (fury) etc and form the basis of all human emotions.

I wanted to tell a story that evokes all these emotions within a limited period of time,” says the filmmaker who is interning with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (of Hollywood hits Little Miss Sunshine and Ruby Sparks fame) over the last five months.

Future plans
Sethhi, who has worked in the technical team of Hollywood blockbusters such as the Mission Impossible series and Life of Pi, plans to screen the movie at international film festivals, and has already started planning for his next project. “I’ll visit India in January 2015 to shoot a 20 minute-short film in Bandhavgarh National Park,” he signs off.

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