Kshay (Emphatheia Films), which recently won the Grand Jury Prize for the Best Feature Film at Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) this year, harps upon the theme of infinite obsession. A low-budget film shot on a second-hand HDV camera, Kshay (which translates to Corrode in English) looks into the life of a simple housewife, Chhaya who leads an ordinary existence until she comes across an unfinished sculpture of goddess Lakshmi. Her fascination with the piece soon mutates into a frenzied mania, where in all, sense of reasoning is lost. A black-and-white narrative, the film is sensitive look at how obsession (of any form) affects and corrodes relationships and sense of self. Filmmaker Karan Gour shares the story behind making Kshay.
On winning the Grand Jury Prize at the IFFLA: It’s fantastic for Kshay to have won this award! This little film is slowly picking up pace and by winning this award, it’s finally getting itself seen by far more people who would otherwise probably give it a pass.
On the significance of the title: Kshay sort of means disintegration, which we’ve sort of bent a little further and got it to mean corrode or corrosion. I thought Chhaya the lead character in this film goes through a journey much like the physical changes of metal once it gets exposure to water and oxygen, the two primary elements that sustain life.
On the theme of obsession: It came primarily from me understanding how I work with obsession. Everyone’s obsessed about something and most times they don’t know it because being obsessed about money, for example, isn’t considered a bad thing. When I started writing this, it wasn’t about Lakshmi but rather just any object that a person can get obsessed about. In Bombay we have the Ganpathi festival and the amount of sculptures you see during that season is so much that you can’t help but get overwhelmed about it. And more often than not, when I get overwhelmed with something, I usually try to get it into my work in some way.
Where do you head from here? What other projects/films are you working on? I am writing my next one, which is about sound. I’ve been writing it for a year now, so let’s hope we can start production by the end of this year._
By: Radhika Iyengar