Cannes Film Festival
Short Film Corner 2021

A young woman finds a medical dummy on her way home from work and spends an evening with him, only to eventually realise that she is alone.

 

Hi Dhruv, thanks for talking to tNC, how have you been keeping during these very strange Covid times? 

 

Humbled. 

 

Has this time offered you any new creative opportunities?

 

The stillness and silence have been very conducive to creative work, they are essential conditions for creation, along with food and shelter.

 

Congratulations on having You Up? part of this year's Short Film Corner, how does it feel to be able to present your film at a physical film festival?

 

When people watch the film and are affected by it, that’s what means the most, so it is exciting to have such a platform to share the film on.

 

Do you get nervous when taking part in a film festival like Cannes?

 

Not really. The short film corner is a very encouraging environment. It has been quite motivating. 

 

What was the inspiration behind You Up? 

 

My friend, who is a talented actor, met a male medical dummy on the footpath one night, and brought him home. He looked very real - and almost felt alive. The film was born from there. 

 

Together, we were exploring the lack of tactility in modern relationships, and the physical isolation in contemporary society, through the character study of a young, curious, empathetic woman. 

 

When you are writing a screenplay how close do you like to keep to it when you are shooting, do you allow yourself / your actors much flexibility? 

 

I like to prepare every detail down to a tee and then throw everything out of the window once we are on set. Anything can happen when you’re working with good collaborators, and it is important to be open to unimaginable outcomes. Preparation helps in keeping the creative flow directed toward the original intention, while playing on set. 

"My passion for filmmaking came from my father, who has always been a huge movie buff, even though we have quite different tastes in films now..."

What was the most challenging scene for you to film?

 

It is never the one you expect. The most challenging scene was the one that we weren’t able to film. It involved a cat. Never write a cat into your script , as brilliant as they are, they cannot take direction, unlike dogs. 

 

Looking back is there anything you would do differently on this film?

 

I say this every time but, a few more days of pre production on the next one. 

 

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from and how much has your style and approach to your short films changed since your debut? 

 

These days I am doing less on screen, with (I hope) a higher impact. When the stakes are high enough, every breath feels important. 

 

My passion for filmmaking came from my father, who has always been a huge movie buff, even though we have quite different tastes in films now, I wouldn't be making films if it wasn't for his influence early on.   

 

Now you can be reflective what advice would you offer a fellow filmmaker?

 

The journey itself is the destination. 

 

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from your film?

 

Whatever they need to, at that point in their lives.