Tuesday, 2 June, 2020

Touching short film on wearing shoes rightly


By Modnath Dhakal

Kathmandu, May 18: A five-year old girl, Hisse Lama, in upper hill, is always confused with her shoes and puts them on wrong feet. She has to exchange one to the other feet every time she wears them. Her mother, cousin and teacher all remind her that she is walking with shoes on wrong feet. In the end, she finds a novel idea to track the right shoe for the right foot.
This is the story of the short film ‘Junuko Jutta’ (Shoes of Junu). The 12-minute long film is a piece of life of a girl who aspires to be in the shoes of her mother. It begins with two pairs of slippers – of mother and daughter – at the threshold of their house. Director Kedar Shrestha has spent a couple of minutes to display the slippers and feet of the girl to highlight the theme of the movie. Every girl tries her mom’s shoes, so does Junu.
Interestingly, male characters are not visible in the movie. Two pairs of shoes at the threshold, Junu’s cousin, and her lady teacher all represent the present-day situation in Nepal’s villages as most of the men, especially the youth, are either in the urban areas or foreign lands in search of job or pursuit of higher studies.
The end of the movie is symbolic as the director combines Junu’s smile, her swinging of legs and soap bubbles to show that she is happy, confident and carefree with the novel idea that she found to track the right shoe which, ultimately, will save her from multiple embarrassments. This is the story of every child.
Through her smile, also with misty eyes when her mother appreciates her for putting on right shoes, and other activities Hisse has shown an ability to perform. She has the power to move the audience when she waits for her mother to confirm that she has the right shoes on and looks at her with innocent eyes.
Riken Maharjan’s background score is in fine tune with the story as the music suits the hills, specially the Buddhist culture to which Junu belongs to. Yanji Lama as the mother fits well. We can find a good chemistry between the mother and daughter. The movie is produced by Happy Hues Productions in association with Theatre Centre for Children and Theatre Mall. Bhibhu Poudel is the producer and Sarun Manandhar cinematographer. The story of the film is inspired by a short story by Yashu Shrestha.
‘Junuko Jutta’ was premierd at the ‘International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2020’ in Germany this week. Oberhausen is one of the oldest and prestigious short film festivals in the world. The film has already won the award for ‘Best Children Short’ in Indie Short Fest of Los Angeles International Film Festival, USA. The festival started on May 13 and will conclude on Monday, May 18. Director Shrestha said that from among the 6,500 films that applied, ‘Junuko Jutta’ was officially selected for competition along with other 137 films. 

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