Student Spotlight: Filmmaker Tara Chakravorty

Megumi Ondo, Postscript Editor

In the midst of COVID-19, many students have been contributing to their community by doing things such as volunteering or donating items. However, sophomore Tara Chakravorty took a different approach by making an award-winning short film “Dissimulation” to give back to her community.

Chakravorty has been interested in filmmaking since her childhood.

“I’ve had a passion for filmmaking and video editing since I was seven years old, starting with posting comedic content on YouTube with my friends, making DIY vlogs, and using iMovie trailer templates,” said Chakravorty.

As she grew older, Chakravorty became interested in featuring social matters such as the Black Lives Matter Movement or mental health, which was the subject of the short film “Dissimulation.”

“I found that mental health issues were common, yet hardly anyone would address them due to social stigma,” explains Chakravorty, “so I wanted to make a film that reflects what others and I might be feeling during quarantine as a way to come together on working through mental health issues.”

When filming the short film, Chakravorty faced many challenges, one being the filming procedure.

Said Chakravorty, “I wanted to make sure the audience stayed engaged throughout the film and followed the protagonist. During the post-production process, I decided to experiment with lighting, color-grading, audio, and clip-frequency to make the footage more dramatic. It was my first time implementing some of these editing techniques and I learned a lot.”

Another challenge was that of balancing school work and filmmaking.

“I stay determined to always be on top of my school work on weekdays and I make it a point not to procrastinate – so that I have a chunk of time to practice filmmaking techniques and video-editing on the weekends,” describes Chakravorty. “Even when I’m not formally working on a video project, I continue to practice making short videos to hone my skills.”

Chakravorty’s efforts paid off, winning the People’s Choice Award of the Fentress Film Fest.

“I attended my first ever film festival this year and it was so exciting! The other films officially selected were phenomenal, and I could learn so much more by just watching them. The meet-and-greet calls were a great way to connect with different filmmakers from around the world and learn more about different perspectives,” speaks Chakravorty.

In addition to the Fentress Film Fest, Chakravorty is currently participating in the Youth Diversity Film Festival (BHERC) based in LA.

Chakravorty wishes to reach many CHS students that may be handling the same difficulties presented in the short film.

“I strive to be empathetic, free-spirited, and bold in my filmmaking, no matter what topic or story I want to address. With [“Dissimulation”], I hope Tino students empathize with the subtleties of anxiety and depression during the pandemic and are aware of how the way people act on the outside is not always how they feel,” expresses Chakravorty.

In the future, Chakravorty plans to pursue filmmaking as a college major, alongside environmental science. It is no doubt that Chakravorty will only shine brighter as a director in the future and that “Dissimulation” is the start of the career of an extraordinary filmmaker.