Toronto International Film Festival 2018
Lalla is a poor agricultural labourer in an Indian village preparing for the harvest of its remaining cornfield. Director Sandhya Suri crafts a refreshingly layered portrait of a woman who bravely pursues a different kind of life than the one she's been granted.
Hey Sandhya, thanks for talking to TNC, how is everything going?
Hi. It's going great. We just had our first public screening yesterday which was to a packed house, so delighted!
What does it mean to be screening The Field at TIFF?
We were part of a very strong collection of shorts. The quality of this line up was really excellent so we were very proud to be a part of it. We just came from Telluride which is the opposite of TIFF in that it is so quiet and low-key so coming here has been a bit of a culture shock, but wonderful and exciting. It's been a great chance also to take meetings and think about our careers and how this short fits into it.
Tell me a little bit about The Field how did the film come about?
The Field is a story set in Northern India about a female agricultural labourer and her relationship with the last remaining field of the village as the harvest approaches. Without giving too much away, the film offers, through the story of Lalla, an alternative and I hope, a surprising narrative about the lives of women in India.
What was the most challenging part of making this film been?
Shooting at 50 degrees Celsius in a very rural place.
How much has your approach to filmmaking changed since your debut film?
Mainly confidence; having faith in your own vision and being able to sit with the incertitude of the creation process with more ease.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
Yes. I trained in documentary at the National Film and Television School and still have a passion for documentary but entering into fiction has also been very exciting and recent for me.
How would you describe The Field in three words?
Tense. Sensual. Delicate.
"...find yourself, good collaborators, preferably a mix of younger and more experienced crew."
Do you have any advice or tips for any fellow filmmaker?
Make sure the script works as there are no solving problems with that later down the line. And find yourself, good collaborators, preferably a mix of younger and more experienced crew.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?
I never know how to answer that one. I just want people to feel the film and be close to Lalla, played by the wonderful Mia Maelzer.