World’s first one-take black and white film Lomad bags another international award

  • 10 months   ago
World’s first one-take black and white film Lomad

Director Tiwari scripted the film in Qatar whilst acting in an international sci-fi TV show during late 2018.

Lomad the Fox - the world’s first ever one-take black and white film recently bagged yet another prestigious award as Auroshikha Dey won Best Actress at the Vesuvius International Film Fest in Italy.
QatarDay video conferenced with Hemwant Tiwari -the award winning writer, director and lead actor of the movie who is currently residing in India.

QD: Congratulations on yet another prestigious international award. How many awards has the film won until now?

HT: Thanks, much appreciated!  Lomad won the Best Noir Feature at the Genre Celebration Festival (Japan, 2019) apart from being nominated for Best Actor and Best Director. This was followed by the Best Feature Film award at the MomoHill Film Fair (Switzerland, 2019).
Then, the Best Foreign Film award at the Studio City International Film Festival (Los Angeles, 2019).
And of course, last week, leading lady Auroshikha Dey won Best Actress at the Vesuvius International Film Fest in Italy.

QD: What was the feeling when you won the first award?

HT: Everything happens for the first time. One day I just got an email saying your film has been selected. My emotions ran high and my eyes were glassy. I did’nt know how to react. Every creative artiste waits for the day when they will get recognized and that moment was like a dream. Receiving the first award was indeed a surreal experience – it nice to see your dreams shape into reality

QD: What exactly is a one-take film?


HT: A one-take film is when the entire movie is shot in a single continuous shot and that means no camera cuts, no editing, and no room for actors to goof up, as a retake would mean reshooting the entire film from the beginning!

QD: What inspired you to make the first ever one-take black and white film?

HT: I started scripting the movie in Qatar when I was acting in the international sci-fi TV serial Medinah during the latter half of 2018. 
I am a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock and when I watched his 1948 film, Rope, I marveled at the challenges the great film-maker had to face given the fact that in those days, film reels were only 10 minutes long. So Hitchcock couldn’t shoot the film in one shot and I always wanted to recreate that feel. 
Several filmmakers have done one-take films but all of them have been in colour. I thought it would be creatively different, if I shot it in black and white.

QD: Any particular comment or statement made by others that has stayed with you.

HT: Adulations were pouring out fast and furious from family, friends and even complete strangers. I vividly remember a couple of people called me the ‘Alfred Hitchcock of India!’ The feeling was overwhelming and I chided with them stating: This Hitchcock of India and his team had the same hunger that the great film-maker had when he sold everything he owned  to make his landmark film Pschyo.

QD: What is the actual length of your film and what were the challenges you faced?

HT: Lomad is actually a 93-minute feature-length film and one of the most challenging aspect of the shoot was the rehearsals. 
We couldn’t afford many retakes, but I had given full liberty to my team. First, the actors rehearsed with the script and only after they had perfected it, did we proceed to the location in Mumbai. 
Then, we rehearsed for almost 10 days on location. Thanks to the extensive preparation, we got the film in the second take itself. 
However, in the first take, the card finished at the 88th minute and we had to go for another take.

QD: Were there any hardships in assembling a cast and crew to film such a challenging project?

HT: Frankly, it wasn’t difficult for me to get actors and crew to be part of the film. As soon as I mentioned that it was a one-shot film, people enthusiastically came on board. Besides, entirely all members are newcomers, mostly fresh graduates from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

QD: How was it working with this team?

HT: It was amazing experience from scripting to arranging actors to assembling the crew. I had the privilege of working with an amazing set of actors and also cameraman Joy Supratim who is supremely talented and dedicated. Joy travelled by train for the script reading even though it was raining heavily and he lives almost an hour away from my place.
This is just one of the many examples that you can multiply with the number of people who have worked on the film to understand their total commitment. I was blessed to have this kind of commitment from a dedicated team that gave their all to create this film.

QD: Tell us something about the plot of Lomad.

HT: It is an interesting story of a boy and girl who had an affair in school and then reunite via social media, after more than a decade. Both are married and almost strangers now. They meet trying to create some magical moments but as the old saying goes, ‘It never happens the way things are supposed to happen.’ 
The two meet one afternoon but get stranded as their car breaks down. Drama unfolds with every frame as the past dominates them and the present grips them to make life- changing decisions that alters the entire dynamics of the film.  Will they jeopardize their marriage? Will their romance rekindle? Who is this stranger?  Well, (laughs) you will have to watch the film to witness the outcome.

QD: So when can we see the movie?

HT: Very soon, inshahallah!  Keeping in mind the current pandemic situation, we are starting to pitch for the release through various OTT platforms.

About the film-maker

Hewant Kumar Tiwari was born in the northern Indian state of Bihar and raised in Gurgaon near the capital Delhi. Son of an army officer and a school teacher (both now retired), he finished schooling at the Army Public School and graduated from the Delhi University.
Tiwari worked at a call center during his college days to save up enough money to go to Mumbai and start his struggle as an actor in Bollywood.
After completing an acting course from the reputed Barry John Acting Studio he started doing theatre. 
His short film Panaah (Shelter) was very well appreciated by critics and audiences alike and his next film Zindagi Bahut Khoobsurat Hai (Life is Beautiful) was selected for the Cannes Film Fest and is due to be released soon. He has also directed and acted in a short film called Salaam (Greetings). 
Tiwari was one of the lead actors in Season One of the international multi-star cast series Medinah (City) shot extensively in Qatar and awaiting release.

About the writer

Dr G J Williams is a semi-professional Qatar based actor whose films have been nominated for the Oscars and Cannes Film Festivals. He acted with Tiwari in an episode of Medinah which was shot in Doha and directed by well-known Qatari director Ahmed Al Baker in 2018.