While the best screenplay award to Prashant Nair-directed and Drishyam Films-produced feature film ‘Tryst With Destiny’ at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival has been rightly celebrated as a good news amidst the gloomy Covid season, another achievement by a young Indian filmmaker at the same festival has gone virtually unnoticed in the country.

Mrittika Mou Sarin, an MFA student at the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television, Los Angeles, has won a Grand Jury Prize (Honourable Mention) from the Tribeca Film Institute and the Alfred P Sloan Foundation as part of the 2020 Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize and Sloan Student Discovery Awards.

Sarin won the honour comprising a prize money of $15,000 for her screenplay ‘Scarce’, a futuristic crime thriller set in IT-capital Bengaluru which has run out of water.

The young filmmaker, daughter of Gurugram-based Sanjay Sarin and Enisha Sarin Hazorika, incidentally happens to be the niece of National Award-winning Assamese filmmaker-actor and theatre personality Sanjeev Hazorika.

The Alfred P Sloan Foundation Awards are given to scripts that demonstrate examples of real or plausible science, a newsletter on the UCLA TFT website says. “Water, at the end of the day, is life. You need it to do everything,” Sarin is quoted as saying in the newsletter while explaining the reasons behind writing the script.

“I wanted to take on the challenge of dramatising climate change. When I heard about Bengaluru (and its water crisis), it all came together. The script is really attempting to bring light to a variety of causes as well as symptoms of water scarcity and asks the question, ‘What do we do about something as big as climate change?” she is quoted as saying.

Sarin, who identifies as a queer Indian writer, earlier worked as a writer on the official Indian remake of web series ‘Criminal Justice’ and also as a creative producer on the official Indian remake of ‘The Office’.

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About Utpal Borpujari


Utpal Borpujari is a National Film Award winning filmmaker and film critic. He won national award for his debut feature film 'Ishu'.


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