Piano Fingers, a documentary on Huntington’s Disease looks at stigma and acceptance in Indian society
The film is directed by Megha Bhaduri and produced by Zain Memon
An upcoming documentary on Huntington’s Disease (HD) — a rare, incurable genetic disorder that causes progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain — explores themes of stigma, hope and acceptance through the stories of four Indian families. Titled Piano Fingers, the film is directed by debutante Megha Bhaduri and produced by Zain Memon of Memesys Culture Lab.
The documentary sheds light on scientific advancements for HD and urges researchers to provide improved healthcare. It also explores the hereditary risks related to the disease and addresses topics such as euthanasia, genetic testing for an incurable disease, gene editing and living with disabilities.
A mixed-media film, Piano Fingers combines animation and motion-graphics with live-action footage. Megha, who inherited HD from her family with a long history of the ailment, was inspired to make the film shortly after her father succumbed to the disease in 2016. Over the next two years, she discovered many families in the country that were living with Huntington’s and were making an effort to survive.
“I started work on this film over two years back to document my father’s life, shortly after his death. Little did I know then that it would turn into a much bigger project, where I would have the privilege of meeting and filming other families that live with Huntington’s. The experience so far has been emotionally exhausting, but also immensely rewarding to shine a light on the issue of stigmatising diseases under the cultural connotations of Indian society and spread awareness about Huntington’s Disease,” Megha said.
Piano Fingers will be funded via a crowdfunding campaign on Wishberry that is going live in Mid-November 2018. The third and final leg of principle photography will be shot in December 2018. The film is scheduled for completion and release in August, 2019.