Krishna, 17 years-old and pregnant, returns to her village home in rural West Bengal to face her family and challenge the marriage of Tara, her beloved younger sister. Faced with patriarchy and the generational oppression of women the reunited sisters must reconcile their differences and make a fateful choice.
Written and directed by
Tara: Priyanka Roy
Krishna: Ratna Chakraborty
Mother: Soma Chakraborty
Boy 1: Sanglap Barman
Boy 2: Souvik Mandal
Uncle: Subrata Burman
Aunt: Rina Burman
Friend: Anusree Mandol
Creative producer & Editor: Subhajit Prasad
Line producer: Sanglap Barman
Director of photography: Souvid Datta
Composer: Soumik Datta
Production Designer: Sanjit Das
1st ad: Arpan Bain
2nd ad: Poulomi Golui
Spark: Saikat Barman
Sound design & mix: Kinkini Deb
Sound supervisor: Sukanta Majumdar
Sound recordist: Sukanya Bhawal
Production Manager: Jayanti Prasad
Production assistant: Anirban Mandal
Runner: Nandini Mandal
Script Consultant & Translation: Sangeeta Datta
Colourist: Vlad Barin @ Cheat
Executive Producers for Uncombed Buddha:
In Association with Cinewacky
With support from CHEAT
h Foundation Emerging Creatives Program, CHEAT, Soumik Datta Arts, Sangeeta Datta, Soumilya Datta,
Melanie Cura Daball, the Burman family, the h Club, Shona Driver, Krishna Halder, Jhorna Halder, Subhasree Raptan @ GGBK
fishermen of Hingalgunj, Hemnagar & Hasnabad.
All rights reserved, SDFilms, 2020
Souvid DattaDirectorGladiators on Wheels, Dark Rising, Lost Musicians of India
Souvid DattaWriterDark Rising
Subhajit PrasadProducerBird of Dusk, Ranjo
Runtime:19 minutes 20 seconds
Completion Date:January 30, 2020
Production Budget:4,500 USD
Country of Origin:United Kingdom
Country of Filming:India
Sunday Shorts Film Festival
Roma Prisma Film Awards
Raindance Film FestivalLondon
November 1, 2020
London New Indie Film FestivalLondon
February 3, 2020
No Screening (Covid)
Souvid Datta is a director, writer and multimedia creative with 6 years experience in editorial, commercial and current affairs film and visual production. After studying International Relations, Law and Conflict Studies at UCL, he undertook commissioned and personal projects in over 50 countries for clients including Google, National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, Universal Music Group, Channel 4, BBC, TIME and The Guardian. His work focuses on issues of social justice, human rights, the environment and culture, explored through narrative storytelling and visual-led investigations. Recently, he was recognized with the 2019 IMDb New Filmmaker Award. Souvid's aim is to create cinematic stories that foster empathy and challenge minds.
Child marriage was outlawed in India in 1929 yet it continues to be an entrenched and prevalent social practice across the country. Recent Supreme Court publications state that West Bengal - where this film is set - has 40% of the country’s child brides and that results of early marriage are profoundly negative - preventing female education and economic independence, increasing risks of human rights violations and maternal mortality.
Child marriage, then, remains a very contemporary problem of international note that deserves to be engaged with in new ways. In a small manner, Moonlit Dreams strives to do exactly that.
The script has been informed by extensive research, NGO interviews and first-hand testimonies and translations. The location is along the India-Bangladesh border, within the remote villages of the Sunderban Delta, a real-life hotbed for patriarchic structures and child marriage.
Actors and extras were cast locally, with several bringing key personal anecdotes and lived-experiences to the table. Striving for this kind of verisimilitude has been essential in my approach to seriously engaging with socio-political reality of child marriage.
This said, Moonlit Dreams is a glimpse, first and foremost, into two sisters reconciling after life splits them apart. A quiet and intimate tale, it is also embedded within larger issues of social significance - patriarchy, misogyny, child marriage and poverty.
By prioritising character detail and emotional nuance, my hope is to lend a fresh, relatable face to these issues while constructing a timely and memorable drama.
Child marriage and Indian patriarchy have been widely discussed, tackled by both news media and NGOs in recent decades. But the aim of this film is not to add to the existing canon of primarily activist, educational or sensationalist stories. Rather, by placing the emotional conflict of authentic characters at the film’s centre, I hope to create a universal but timely short film worth watching for all audiences.