Private Project

Shut Up Sona

Shut up, Sona is a film about a feisty female artist’s unrelenting fight for an equal space in modern day India, a country deeply uncomfortable with her emancipation.

  • Deepti Gupta
  • Deepti Gupta
  • Sona Mohapatra
  • Sona Mohapatra
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Shut Up Sona
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 25 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 15, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    214,627 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Hindi
  • Shooting Format:
    4K UHD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • MAMI FIlm Festival
    November 21, 2019
    Film Critics Guild Award, Jury Special Mention
  • IFFR Rotterdam
    January 29, 2020
Director Biography - Deepti Gupta

Deepti Gupta is a Filmmaker and Cinematographer living in Mumbai, India.
She graduated in cinematography from Film and TV Institute of India (FTII) in 1998 where she discovered her love for art house cinema and documentary. In the last 20 years, she has shot feature films that straddle the commercial Bollywood idiom (Honeymoon travels Pvt. Ltd) and the Global Art house (‘The Fakir of Venice’, ‘Ranu’). This journey has been continuously informed by over a dozen documentaries of which ‘Laxmi and Me’ (Nominee Silver Wolf IDFA 2007) received global recognition. She has also shot commercials for major brands in and India and abroad.
In the world of directing, she has made a select few music videos for Independent artists in India.
Deepti is one of the founder members of IWCC, Indian Women Cinematographers Collective. Lal Pari Mastani (IEXIST) is her first feature documentary.

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Director Statement

“Shut up, Sona” is the inspiring story of a woman artist who just cant stop dissenting while her country and everyone around her is telling her to Shut up. An intimate journey with Sona, the entertainer, whistleblower, troublemaker, diva, and my friend, the film is about today’s India at odds with the modern Indian woman.

The film, like it's protagonist, is laced with sarcasm, wit and a bite of craziness. Sona in a continuous battle with India’s deeply feudal, patriarchal present. Her unlikely tools? Her singing voice trained in India’s ancient vocal traditions, and her outrageous activism, with which she has managed to carve out an Iconhood of sorts amongst the youth.

For me the story of women in my country is the most important one to tell right now, and Sona is the most inspiring character to tell it through. I explore the prismatic reality of this power house woman who on one hand takes on people and institutions in her country that stand in the way of her stage; and on another she is also vulnerable, negotiating her freedom everyday with those who inhabit her intimate space. The many shades in “Shut up, Sona” become a testament to the stories of many women in India.

What Sona does with her voice, I do with my camera. The film is a passionate cry of rage, and the ecstatic one of song. It seeks to inspire women to express with all the tools at our disposal, and be in charge of our own narratives.