Filmmaker Bhargav Saikia, who previously helmed the Tom Alter-Shernaz Patel-starrer ‘The Black Cat’ adapted from a short story by eminent author Ruskin Bond, is set to make his feature film directorial debut with horror-fantasy drama Bokshi.
Saikia, who hails from Assam, made the announcement on June 15 on social media with a concept poster depicting a young woman engulfed in flames with a blood moon looming behind her. The ominous-looking font of the film title, scribbled on the poster with charcoal, is said to represent a mythical entity in the film.
Based on an original screenplay by debutant writer Harsh Vaibhav, the Hindi/English-language feature is scheduled to be filmed this winter in multiple locations across northeast India. Plot details have been kept under wraps.
“As a filmmaker, my predominant interest lies in horror and fantasy fiction – Bokshi will give me the ideal opportunity to explore these two genres wholeheartedly. I am extremely excited to present this surreal contemporary horror tale to cinemagoers in India and beyond,” Saikia said.
He informed the media that casting and pre-production activities will be carried out virtually in the upcoming months in light of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
Saikia’s fantasy genre short The Black Cat won the Best Cinematography and Best Music awards and received nominations for Best Director and Best Film at the 2018 Critics’ Choice Short Film Awards presented by Film Critics Guild of India.
Saikia’s additional directorial credits include ‘Awakenings’ featuring Palomi Ghosh from Netflix’s ‘Typewriter’. The horror short film, which was showcased at major genre film festivals such as Sitges (Spain) and Neuchâtel (Switzerland), was acquired and released digitally last year by leading American horror brand Alter.
Bokshi will be produced by Saikia’s independent production company Lorien Motion Pictures. The company’s maiden production was the much discussed Kashmir-set feature ‘Kaafiron Ki Namaaz’ which premiered at South Korea’s Jeonju International Film Festival in 2014.
More recently, Lorien’s horror feature project ‘The Ordeal’ was chosen to participate at the prestigious Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) co-production market presented by Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan) in South Korea.