LOSING CLAIRE played to rave reviews at the Los Angeles FEEDBACK Film Festival in December 2017.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Parry Majmudar: I’ve observed and read certain incidents regarding still born child and also have closely witnessed where there was a high possibility that a girl child couldn’t have survived… SHE was kept on LIFE SUPPORT and after a couple of days, She was removed from it and everyone present there were hoping and praying that she could survive the deadline given by the doctors. FORTUNATELY, God’s grace, SHE DID SURVIVE and SHE IS DOING QUIET WELL NOW. Few months back her family celebrated her fifth birthday. Hence, I got the motivation to make this film this year as a part of final project at the film school . I was present there with the family while all of this was occurring and it somehow got stamped into my heart as I had seen it firsthand and all I could do was to give them hope and observe their emotions and reactions towards the same. I was 22 then.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?
I was doing a research on the mothers who lost their child during the birth and also after that. (We’re told at the film school from the very beginning that we’ll have to make a short film at the end of the course as our graduation project, but like most of the student I was enjoying the course and London city. We had a Christmas break after attending 45 odd days of school and before parting for the break we’re reminded by our mentors to start working on the final project. As it was Christmas time and everyone’s on a festive mood so, I couldn’t think of any idea then – throughout the break.)
It had also to do with me being completely new to this field therefore I wasn’t able focus or reflect on the ideas for the final project. I started working on the idea in the end of January 2017. We were given a deadline that everyone must be ready with their scripts by the first week of March 2017. So, for me It was like do or die… and to be honest I took up the challenge and in-fact, I was happy that I have a deadline set and a target to achieve. I did submit my script in time and also requested my course leader to shift my date of production to the very top. We began shooting on the 21st of March 2017. It was a two days shoot. The post production activities took couple of months as I took a bit of time while editing the film and completing the other activities.
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
A silent despair.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
When I was streaming through various ideas and when I finally decided to make a film on the aforementioned subject, I was deeply concerned about my confidence, because for a first timer like me plus preparing to make a short on such a sensitive subject was a real test for me. Also, when there is money involved, one has to carefully take each step a time. I don’t know how, during the pre-production, inspite of all the questions hovering in my mind about making this film, there was no negativity around me and that thing took me all ahead with this film. Slowly, I gathered confidence and since then there’s no turning back. Being this my debut film, the whole journey was fantastic. On the set or during the post production activities there wasn’t such obstacle with completing the film. Only that my visa my getting over on the last day of my course and I had fly back to India where I did my post activities which was a bit tedious.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was thrilled…. Absolutely thrilled. I did not at all expect such feedback from the audience. I literally feel delighted for my cast and crew who worked hard for the film and made my dream come true. Cheers to the audiences who were kind enough to give the feedback and all the others for watching the film.
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
While in London, I got to meet the family in January 2017 and I was really happy to see them with the little one and there we’re sitting on the dinner table talking about the child with all that she had been through and the emotional journey of her parents at the time of her birth. So there I got the potential idea of creating it into a short film. Than I started my research.
The reason, I thought of making it from a male’s perspective was that The impact of pregnancy loss on male partners has been largely overlooked. When a baby dies before birth the loss can be devastating for fathers yet, very often, the world that surrounds them tends to discount their loss and emotional support. Whereas grief is assumed to be a predominantly maternal domain.
It is the perception that men have only a supportive role in pregnancy loss is unjustified, as it ignores the actual life experiences of the men, and the meanings they attach to their loss, in what may be a very personal emotional tragedy for them where they have limited support available. There is consideration of the need for the wider community to acknowledge the male partner’s grief as being a valid response to the bereavement suffered.
When men do express their grief, they tend to do so in culturally prescribed ‘masculine’ ways. As they are more reluctant to express their grief openly and hide it in order not to overburden their partner. Men exert more control over their emotional expressiveness and intellectualize their grief, whereas women are more expressive in their grief.
Men have few opportunities to express their emotions cathartically because they respond in a manner they feel that culture demands. It is important to ensure, therefore, that failure to identify the particular nature of the father’s grieving process, does not generate conclusions regarding the intellectualisation of feeling on the basis of stereotypical concepts of emotional expression.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Revolutionary Road (2008) and Kabhi Kabhie (Hindi Film, 1976
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the new(ish) submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
It is an indeed a great platform which helps the filmmakers in showcasing their films to various esteemed festivals around the globe. An interesting and easy submission platform where filmmakers get an array of choosing the festivals and also can apply to many of the free festivals in the world. The website is simple to understand and it caters to the need of an individual filmmaker. It is an emerging submission platform with all the the necessary changes and innovations film freeway does time to time.
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
Well, to be honest it all depends on my mood. But I do like listening to soft songs like You’re beautiful by James Blunt and Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.
10. What is next for you? A new film?
Next for me is getting a job here in India or abroad as an assistant to the director. Like the 3rd or the 4th A.D as you know one has start from the grass root and climb the ladder. But its really difficult to get an entry into the industry because of cut throat competition. Also, I’m developing an idea for a short.
LOSING CLAIRE, 6min, India, Drama/Relationship
Directed by Parry Majmudar
A story about psychological anguish from a male’s perspective on having a stillborn child. The main characters are Emily and Perry who are finding it difficult to cope with the devastating loss of their stillborn daughter – Claire and this is having a detrimental impact on their relationship which is becoming strained.
CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!