It has been over three months of lockdown and like every other industry; Mumbai's entertainment industry too took a hit like never before. With shoots on hold, artistes are making use of their time to get creative at home. 'The Intruder' is the title of Ritwika Gupta's new short film. It is a gripping short thriller that has been shot entirely at home, using a smartphone.
Ritwika is not just the actor in the film but she has also directed the movie using her homemade tripod.
"Years ago, the idea of shooting movies on a mobile phone was far-fetched but today it is not impossible. I don't have a professional camera or lights. This was something I did out of sheer passion to tell a story. Despite the limitations of the lockdown and resources, I think you can create something unique if you have a good idea. At the end of the day, it's all about story-telling. We are in a state of lockdown but creativity cannot be locked down", she says.
The short film has been remotely edited and put together by filmmaker, Stendor Sorout, without whom Ritwika shares it was impossible to make the movie.
Sorout also composed the background music of the film, which really elevated the entire project. "I am not a director. I love acting and writing. However, since Sten (Stendor Sorout) couldn't come and direct my film at my home, I decided to put on the hat. But I was constantly on call with him and taking instructions about framing, angles etc." she adds.
The Intruder' has gotten rave views for the story and treatment. People have praised Ritwika's directorial efforts and her natural acting.
While many have interpreted the film's ending in different ways, some viewers have also insisted for a sequel. "I honestly haven't thought about a sequel. Thriller is my favourite genre and I always wanted to be a part of one. I am glad people liked it and construed the ending in their own ways. I like films that can open up discussions and possibilities", she says. As a full-time television anchor, Ritwika Gupta has been shooting her TV episodes from home. She says the last 3 months have been a learning journey for her. "Earlier I just needed to know my lines and focus on what I have to say. Everything else from hair, makeup to lights, sound and framing would be taken care of. But now, I am my own hair stylist and own cinematographer. It's definitely challenging".
When asked about her future projects, Ritwika said that Sten and her plan to produce a number of independent films, which at the moment are on hold, due to the lockdown.
Currently, she's completely focused on her TV show and regularly updates her social media with her dance videos. Ritwika says, "I'd love to see myself working on good scripts and playing interesting characters. Be it on web, TV or big screen. It'll be a dream come true to work with the likes of Vishal Bharadwaj, Shoojit Sircar and Anurag Kashyap. It's a never-ending list".