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Directed by Sean Sankalp Raju

Set during the Mughal Empire in India, villagers accuse a woman of casting the Evil Eye (nazar) on their village, resulting in calls for her execution. King Akbar turns to his advisor, Birbal, to examine whether their fears are founded in reality or rooted in superstition.

Directed by Sean Sankalp Raju
Produced by Devon Gulati

Director’s Bio: Sean Sankalp Raju is an Indian American writer-director whose work is steeped in telling socially conscious stories through traditional genre forms. His work has been screened on Oscar-qualifying film festivals, major airlines, and won awards at noteworthy festivals such as the Austin Film Festival and the Indapuram International Short Film Festival. Raju was born in India, raised in America, and is influenced by international filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa from Japan, Satyajit Ray from India, and Andrey Zvyaginstev from Russia.

Plays in

Folktales Old & New

Whispers and hurried exchanges have long been the subject of mythic tales. They remind readers and listeners that we are small humans facing great unknowns. Visual design, sound, editing, and cinematography can elevate the effect of these tales when rendered in film. On the other hand, film can take away the intimacy of storytelling and mute the sense of mystery that originally made the stories so compelling. The shorts in this showcase navigate these murky waters, unearthing the unconscious from the depths of our collective imagination.