Amma, Meri (My Mother) is a short fiction film based on the Agrarian crisis which prevails in India since a long time. Tarun Jain, the director of this film tells us the story of Balram, a villager who’s burdened with plight with the passing away of his father. His father’s death has not only made him fatherless, but the only member to burden the family’s responsibility.
Devki Rani, the old mother’s declining health and falling eye sight has very meager to offer. The banker’s reminder about the fixed deposit on his mother’s name and persuading Balram to become the sole nominee seems most favourable. But he can only get this money only after his mother dies. This sets him thinking. When a problem stays stagnant for a very long time, people eventually lose their interest and choose to ignore it but at the back of their head, it’s still there. It’s this lingering feeling and Tarun’s ancestral connection with U.P and Haryana, got him weaving this idea into a short film. It was his urge to share the story, make people realize the instability in the farmers’ lives and make us reflect about the human condition.
Funding is the biggest problem for a Short Fiction Film in India, says Tarun. Despite of budget constraints and other challenges, Tarun managed to complete his film. The film was appreciated at every film festival it travelled to. Be it an International film festival or a national one, it stood out of its group and made the audience feel for today’s distressed farmer.
Short Films in India face a lot of problems, one of them being clarity among filmmakers. Tarun, who has travelled to a lot of film festivals and having met many different filmmakers, observed that the sense of purpose and ambition in Indian filmmakers is quite blurry when compared to filmmakers around US and Europe. He also pointed out to the prevailing risk in the world of Short Films; with the outburst of Online Digital Platforms, short films are becoming stale and of the staple variety as creators are reacting vaguely to the rise of demand for shorts which include web series and its related content. Due to this, stories aren’t being told just fictional narratives which lack an anchor to societal issues.
We asked Tarun, “Where would he prefer showcasing his film, in a Film Festival or on any Digital Platform?” He answers quite convincingly, he’d like to explore as much as possible. But he personally feel that the movie should be screened at the Film festivals first, as it gives you time to absorb the audience reaction, think of some changes if there are to be made at all and then be sure about providing it to Digital Platform where it stays in eternity.
Every filmmaker has a purpose/message which they want to convey through their work, with this film, Tarun wants us to understand the pride of Balram. To be in his shoes, answering his questions of life, was an experience rooted in reality, which Tarun was aiming for. He strongly believes that sharing information is a better way to help someone and giving farmers solutions or giving them clarity in a moment of crisis is what is needed in Rural India. He also wants us to acknowledge the importance of these people and their crisis in our busy life.