Nidhi (Right) on the sets of her film, Sad Letters of an Imaginary Woman
Nidhi (Right) on the sets of her film, Sad Letters of an Imaginary Woman

Nidhi Saxena's Sad Letters of an Imaginary Woman wins Asian Cinema Fund 2024; to have world premiere at Busan International Film Festival

The Asian Cinema Fund provides in-kind post-production services, including DI, sound mixing, English subtitle spotting, and DCP creation, for Asian and Korean feature-length fiction film projects

Independent filmmaker Nidhi Saxena's directorial debut, Sad Letters of an Imaginary Woman, has been honoured with the prestigious Asian Cinema Fund 2024, making her the first Indian woman filmmaker ever to receive the award in the post-production fund category. The film will have its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in October this year.

The Asian Cinema Fund provides in-kind post-production services, including DI, sound mixing, English subtitle spotting, and DCP creation, for Asian and Korean feature-length fiction film projects.

Her film is an experimental meditation on the complex burdens faced by women in Indian societies. It centres on two women who live in a decaying ancestral house that mirrors their emotional stagnation. Grappling with trauma, both the women find different ways to cope and escape from the pain until they stumble upon something that might change their lives forever.

Nidhi and her mother spent four months in an old, abandoned heritage house in Ahmedabad to truly immerse themselves in the environment that mirrors the film's setting. This immersive experience later allowed the actors to deeply connect with their characters' psychological states. Speaking about it, Nidhi said, “I wanted to create a dreamlike atmosphere where memories and current realities coexist. This technique allowed me to explore how past traumas continue to shape our present lives in subtle yet profound ways. The film is not so much about the story as much as it reflects on fragmented memories and feelings. The camera is used like a painter uses a brush. Each shot is like a brushstroke."

The film is produced by Cannes award-winning Sri Lankan filmmaker Vimukthi Jayasundara, who won the prestigious Caméra d'Or award for his film Sulanga Enu Pinisa in 2005, and Indian producer Ajender Chawla. On collaborating with Nidhi, Vimukthi said, “Being part of this journey, I have huge faith in her. I know what she has created is pure cinema. She is not just telling stories as a filmmaker; she is capturing the essence of life itself through her lens.”

Nidhi is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) 2017 batch (T.V. Writing Diploma).

X
Cinema Express
www.cinemaexpress.com