“I want my audience to see how others will remember them as individuals. It is how these people live that will decide on that.”
01 July 2015
Shalini Balasundaram believes in direct human interaction. She dislikes people who are on their phones all the time, spending more time in the cyber world and forgetting their real lives.
Before graduating in December 2014, Shalini’s course, Digital Film and Television, required her to direct a short movie as a final project. She was looking for simple but suitable ideas, until she stumbled upon her major turn-off – people’s lives overshadowed by technologies. After looking at it from various angles, she collaborated with her teammates to create a short film with a strong life message called Inai.
Shalini and her team created Inai simply to fulfill their final project requirement, but now, it had become the first student-made short film previewed in theatres nationwide. The film was then uploaded to YouTube, and had been viewed for 5,142 times to date.
“I have difficulties finding the idea at first,” she explained, “but I remembered how much I dislike people who stick to their phones all day long, even when they are with others.”
“In Tamil, Inai means parallel, two lines that will never meet at the end. The movie is about two people with different lives, and people’s thoughts of them after their passing.”
Shalini also remarked that she wanted Inai to act pretty much like a PSA (Public Service Announcement) as well.
The 23-year-old filmmaker said Inai was inspired by an article about a Californian man whose death went unnoticed for four days.
Feedback from audiences who have seen the movie showed that they’ve embraced Shalini’s simple idea and considered it as a powerful message, a commentary of today’s lifestyle. When asked about these reactions, Shalini was modest and said that these compliments were the most significant achievements that a student could get.
“It is not all me, believe me. I have to credit my team as well, we worked hard together, dedicating our time and money to create this project,” she smiled. “I have the best team to work with. I am seeing us working together in the future.”
“Above all, I have to credit Limkokwing University as well,” she said, “I met all of my teammates in school, the lecturers patiently assisted us in the preproduction step-by-step, and it gave me a lot of exposures as a filmmaking student and an individual. Being in Limkokwing, a school that houses students from hundreds of different cultural backgrounds, exposes me to a different perspective.”
The young filmmaker, who is currently planning to direct a feature movie and release it by this year, continued, “I love Tamil movies, and it encourages me to be a filmmaker for Tamil audience. I will not stop learning about filmmaking, I am making movies to pursue my passion.”