This Human Rights Day, 10 December, award-winning filmmaker Shred Shreedhar. has planned to release his animated short Reena Ki Kahaani which talks about human trafficking. The short is made for all age groups and is based on a real-life incident. Directed by Shreedhar, animation and creative direction was done by Ashish Wagh and PS Jayahari took care of the music.
“Reena Ki Kahaani is based on the true story of Reena (name changed), a survivor of human trafficking. She got sold into the market of flesh trade on grounds of false promises only to be rescued later by Vihaan, the anti human trafficking NGO,” Shred Creative Lab director Shreedhar told AnimationXpress in an email interview.
He revealed that they chose ‘folk as an art style to connect to the region from where the story originated’. “It helped in making the story more relatable. We illustrated, animated, and composited using Adobe Illustrator, Flash CC, and After effects CS6,” the director said.
The former National Geographic Channel India creative VP hopes that with this film, a heinous crime like human trafficking gets talked about more in the mainstream media.
About choosing animation as a medium, Shreedhar said, “Animation as a format is visually appealing to children as well as adults. The purpose was for the film and its message to reach out to not only adults and caregivers but children as well; so a difficult topic was made palatable for all age groups through an animated film so that the dangers are understood.”
The filmmaker is known for his work In Our World, the documentary on autism which was officially selected at the NYC South Asian Film Festival SAFF this year. The 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) highlighted autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by premiering Shred’s brilliant In Our World non-fiction film on 18 January 2021.
Divulging details about his inspiration for the upcoming film Reena Ki Kahaani, he said, “Post IFFI, a representative from Vihaan met me earlier this year to discuss an awareness film on the evils of human trafficking. During the discussion, real life rescue operations were spoken of which prompted me to focus on one such story to produce a narrative that would have more impact on the audience than just a series of dos and don’ts.”
Shreedhar further mentioned, “We have films on various social issues. Human trafficking for sex trade, bonded labour and slavery is a billion-dollar industry that gets lost in the news items. More importantly, people need to be aware of how to identify vulnerabilities and threats.”
According to him, there wouldn’t have been a better day to highlight this reassuring story of courage and human grit in the face of a brutal violation of human rights and spirit.
“Nothing celebrates Human Rights Day as the rise and triumph of the human spirit in Reena’s story,” he concluded.
Reena Ki Kahaani, the animated short film of nearly 10 minutes will be released on Shred Creative Lab’s YouTube Channel and other social media handles.