Whistling Woods International alumna’s ‘Cargo’ makes waves at international festivals

March 16, 2020

Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia’s premier film, communication, and creative arts institute hosted the cast and crew behind 2019 science fiction hit ‘Cargo’ for a unique masterclass session. Comprising primarily of alumni of the institute, the occasion saw the attendance of graduates Arati Kadav, the writer, director, and producer of the film; co-producer Zain Matcheswalla; actor Nandu Madhav; visual effects artist Zenish Mehta; cinematographer Kaushal Shah; costume designers Rashmi Khatri and Abhay Bharat; and production supervisor Shray Gupta. They were joined by other crew members of the film including Shezan Shaikh, responsible for the background score, postproduction supervisor Akash Banerjee, sound designer Anish John, and editor Paramita Ghosh. The insightful masterclass was moderated by Rahul Puri, Head of Academics at WWI.

Puri began the session by introducing the guests, highlighting the role played by WWI alumni in the creation of the film, stating, “It’s a proud day, with so many people from WWI seated upon the stage across all our batches and departments. The film was even shot here at Whistling Woods International; hence, there is a very strong connection of the school with this film.”

The floor was subsequently opened to the audience, with the eager students posing a host of questions. The first had to do with the inspiration behind the film, and the various genres it drew from. In response, Kadav highlighted her love for writing and her fascination for building worlds brimming with fantasy and magic. She said, “I am a very ordinary person in real life. But when it comes to writing stories, I love creating a fantasy world. Every civilization talks about mythological aspects because that’s what you make sense of the world. So that’s why I had a lot of attraction to such kind of stories.” 

With the session coming to a close, Kadav shared a closing piece of advice with the eager students, “While making a film the best approach would be, try and pick a few things that you can really do well, rather than trying to do a lot of things and end up doing average job.”

Cargo tells the story of a senior astronaut and the relationship he builds with his new assistant, as they interact with different cargos on a daily basis – consisting of dead people. Cargo had its premiere at 2019 MAMI Film Festival. It will have its international premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas; the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival; the Chattanooga Film Festival, in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and the Sci-Fi Film Festival in Sydney, Australia. The film will also be competing in the Avant-Garde and Genre categories at BAFICI, the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema 2020.

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