Vaishvi Mistry gets candid about her film ‘Sort The Spot’

AISFM student, Vaishvi Mistry brings to you a story that not many can openly talk about in our society – A girl’s first period. Her film ‘Sort The Spot’ just finished off with its making, and so we had a small chat with the filmmaker, to get out some details about her film.

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The film shows two parallel stories of two girls who get their period for the first time. It is about how the two stain their skirts, and eventually, ‘sort the spot’.

“Both stories deal with how differently their friends and families handle the situations. One is set in a typical govt. affiliated school, while the other is in a posh private school. We have tried showing a contrast between the two situations, and showcase the two ways in which Indians deal with this situation. It is still a taboo in India to talk about a girl’s period and so, what we tried to do through this film, is to give the audience two options when a situation like this arises. It is up to them to choose which path they would like to walk down.”

When asked about an experience that she would never forget, from the shoot, she said, “The film was shot partly in Hyderabad and partly in Surat. When we reached Surat, we were supposed to get about six hours of shoot in a school. We set up everything and were waiting for the kids to arrive in the morning. Then the kids come in, in completely different uniforms from the ones worn by our actors! Now we had already shot the rest of the film in those uniforms (the ones worn by the actors after R&D of the school), and we did not know what to do. After speaking to the school management, we were given another class who were in the daily uniforms, but we had only four hours to shoot. After speaking to my crew members, we decided to push ourselves and do the shoot in the limited time. We did not rest, we did not eat, and somehow managed to get all our shots”

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Her film deals with this taboo topic in a comic way. When asked why she opted to make her film this way, this is what she said, “I love treating things in a comic manner. The more serious or sensitive the issue is, the more comic I’d like to make it, in my film. This is why even Sort the Spot is not a serious film. It is an extreme opposite of what people would expect. It is challenging, and it hits people when there is a hint of satire or parody in it, as compared to if it (the film) were directly speaking about my subject. I will pick the genre which is the opposite of what people would expect to watch.”

“One of the two stories in the film is my personal story. I was pretty scared, and being an introvert made it even more terrific. As a filmmaker, I had to put my actor in the very same situation as I had been, but not let her react like how I did. The other story is about an extrovert. Though she is younger, she handles the situation pretty well, thanks to her friends,” she added.

On being asked about her experience of making a film, this is what she said: “It is always scary. Firstly, because it is our grad film. Second, because we are the first BFA batch, so everybody is waiting to see what we will come up with after studying this art for four years. Even when I came up with my story, I had a lot of ideas from others as to how the story can be improved. You need to know which ideas to take, and which to let go, while making sure to stick to what you originally wanted to convey. It was a good experience.”

“We had five days of shoot. We travelled. We got so lost in the film, that after a point we needed a fresh pair of eyes to tell us what we need to do, or what changes we need to make. I never gave my crew members food on time. Lunch always got delayed on sets, because for me, I cannot rest till I get my perfect shot. When you make a film, you are the only one who knows how you got a particular shot. People will tell you to do things in a different way, and there will be a lot of pressure. When you surpass this, you become a good filmmaker,” she said with a smile.

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