Director and Cinematographer Savita Singh remembers “Halyna Hutchins” while receiving her second National Award!

Mumbai, (Maharashtra), October 28: Savita Singh was born in a farmer’s family in Haryana and has slowly carved her niche in the male dominated world of cinematography in her journey of 14 years in the industry. A 2007 Cinematography graduate from the Film and Television Institute of India, Savita Singh has worked with varying visual styles and formats such as feature films, ad films and documentaries. Her FTII thesis film, ‘Kramasha’ (‘To be continued’) made her the first Indian woman to be awarded a National Award for Best Cinematography (2009) in the non-feature category. Savita was selected as a scholar for the Budapest Cinematography Master class where she learnt under the mentorship of the legendary Vilmos Zsigmond ASC. She was also declared the Indian Winner (2007) for the Kodak Film School Competition. Savita is one of the founding members of Indian Women Cinematographers Collective IWCC, a forum for women cinematographers from India. Savita has shot feature films like ‘Phoonk’, ‘404: Error Not Found, ‘Dhoosar’, ‘Hawaizaada’, ‘The Seventh Walk’ / ‘Sattvi Sair’ and ‘Ventilator’ Her short film ‘Devi’, starring Kajol, Shruti Hassan and Neha Dhupia went viral on YouTube with more than 14 million hits in two weeks.

‘SONSI’/ ‘SHADOW BIRD’, a 26-minute experimental short film is Savita’s debut as a director. The short film “SONSI” has been directed by national award-winning cinematographer Savita Singh, who made her directorial debut with the same. The film has been produced by Actor Vikas Kumar and Sharib Khan under the banner of Khan and Kumar Media Pvt. Ltd. The short-film revolves around an eight-year-old girl Nadi who wanders somewhere between the conscious and the unconscious, to meet her dream-etched Shadow Bird. and a mysterious Timekeeper, upon whose arrival, the sleepy village wakes up. And it portrays how one morning neither the Shadow Bird nor the Timekeeper arrive and Nadi ventures alone into the deep, mysterious woods in search of them. Apart from winning awards and nominations at festivals across the globe, Savita has bagged her second National Award for Best Cinematography for the film.

At the 67th National Film Awards, “SONSI” won in the Best Cinematography category. Talking about which Director and Cinematographer Savita Singh says, “Winning my second National Film Award and a Rajat Kamal for Best Cinematography is such an incredible honor and moment of pride for me. I am full of gratitude that my first film as a director ‘Sonsi’ my little bird gave us a National Award. This feeling will take a while to sink in. This award belongs to my incredibly progressive and nurturing parents who gave me wings and showed me how to dream. At the same time, I can’t take my mind off Halyna Hutchins, one of us, a brilliant and devoted cinematographer who lost her life in an accidental gun shot while she was working on set. She is us and we are her. I hope this tragic incident starts a conversation around safety guidelines on set while shooting.”

Lastly, she says, “Sonsi was possible only because I had the most amazing and evolved producers at ‘Khan & Kumar Media Pvt Ltd’ who not only believe in protecting and discovering new cinematic voices, but are also passionate about telling unique stories. Vikas Kumar, a prolific actor and my producer, stood by the film through thick and thin. He loved the film right from its genesis and supported the vision without any questions asked. This partnership was the best that a budding director could ask for.” and signs off.

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