An 11-minute short film, Dosth (Friend) is a story about two close friends from different castes – one from an upper caste and the other from a lower one – being pressurised into ending their friendship by their families due to their differences. The short film was made by a 14-year-old girl, Anusha Yanam, who has been herself a victim of caste discrimination from right when she was in school. The film is based on her real-life experiences.
Anusha could only study till class 5 and was the only girl in her family to do so. “We were made to realise about our caste not by children of our age, but by the grown-ups who didn’t like us getting along with children of upper castes,” she told The Times of India.
Her short film has been chosen to compete at the Little Directors segment of the ongoing 20th International Children’s Film Festival in Telangana.
It is one of the 14 films shortlisted for screening from a total of 179. Anusha belongs to the remote village of Ichoda from the hinterlands of Adilabad. Her short film will be screened tomorrow, November 12. The crew members of the movie are all from disadvantaged social backgrounds.
To make the film, Anusha had collaborated with students from several residential schools of the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society, reports TOI. A media collective of Dalit filmmakers has appreciated the effort put on the film and has encouraged people from marginalised backgrounds to tell their stories.