Exciting new fantasy short, The Black Cat, directed by Indian award-winning filmmaker Bhargav Saikia, is now available worldwide on Youtube. The 20-minute film, which is an official adaptation of a short story by celebrated author Ruskin Bond, has a stylish fantastical style that brings a new voice in genre cinema. With strong buzz in the festival circuit, The Black Cat is one of the most highly anticipated genre short films of the year.
“The whole experience of making The Black Cat was an absolute joy,” says director Bhargav Saikia. “It was a dream come true for me to collaborate with legendary writer Ruskin Bond, who has always been an inspiration and an integral part of my growing up years. I strongly believe The Black Cat will appeal to younger audiences as well as adults.”
The Black Cat is the latest work of Ruskin Bond that has been adapted for celluloid. Bond, who is an Indian author of British descent, is a Padma Bhushan awardee (the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India) and he is widely considered as India’s favorite author of children’s literature.
The Black Cat had its international premiere at the 2017 FilmQuest Festival in Provo, Utah, where it was nominated for the Best Fantasy Short Film and Best Production Design awards.
The film received rave reviews at FilmQuest, where Diabolique Magazine applauded Bhargav Saikia as “a new voice in fantasy and magical realism” and Horror Freak News praised the film as “a family-friendly, whimsical short film which is 20 minutes well spent, in a kooky and fun Tim Burton-esque world.” Grazia magazine described the film as “a wonderful amalgamation of humorous and supernatural elements.”
The Black Cat stars legendary Indian actors Tom Alter (Gandhi, The Chess Players) and Shernaz Patel (Black, Guzaarish). Tom Alter, who has over 100 roles to his credit, passed away on September 29th, 2017 at the age of 67, after a courageous battle with stage-four skin cancer. The Black Cat features one of his final performances in a lead role. Interestingly, Tom Alter essays the role of Ruskin Bond in the film, which makes it all the more special since the actor and writer were close friends.
The Black Cat is Bhargav Saikia’s second short film as a director. His first short, Awakenings, screened at over 150 film festivals worldwide in 2015-16, including several prestigious genre festivals such as Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival, HollyShorts Film Festival and Razor Reel Flanders Fantastic Film Festival. “The work of Bhargav Saikia embodies another kind of emerging creativity that exists in Indian independent cinema,” states Screen Anarchy.
The Black Cat, which is produced by Saikia’s film production company Lorien Motion Pictures, is now available on the company’s official YouTube channel.