amit sarin

Amit Sarin shares the poster for his film “Between Mountains.” (Prashant Golecha photo)

MUMBAI — Actor Amit Sarin of “Pavitra Rishta” fame is excited about his Hollywood project, “Between Mountains,” directed by his wife Vineesha Arora Sarin. The feature film deals with suicide prevention and mental health.

“Vineesha approached singer Jubin Nautiyal as she wanted to show a softer side of my character, Johnny Morris, who is in pain due to the losses in his life. Jubin instantly loved the story and just connected with the film,” said Sarin.

The song has been composed and written by Scott Turek, an independent musician from Nashville, who is also breaking into Hollywood with this project. It is called “Wheels of Karma.” It belongs to an American folk inspirational genre. Anybody who listens to it can’t believe the singer behind it isn’t American. Jubin has done a brilliant job in this rendition, which is going to be a big hit with audiences,” says Sarin.

“Between Mountains” had its world premiere in Los Angeles in July. “It was overwhelming and extremely humbling. We were thankful and relieved to see how well the film was received by one and all. They were blown away with the film and its message. Several Hollywood dignitaries attended it and they had some kind words like ‘It is poetry in motion,’ and ‘It is a visual emotion,’ and ‘The lead actor glued the entire film by his brilliant performance,’” Sarin added.

Talking about the importance of the subject, the actor said, “We just don’t give mental health the importance it deserves. People are so uncomfortable talking about their actual mental state due to taboos. We are living in the most challenging times that our generation has seen. It is okay to bear your heart out to someone you trust and care about. It’s okay to talk about your true feelings. And one must share innermost emotions now more than ever so that they don’t hit the point of depression which may, in some cases, lead to suicide. And all of this is preventive. It’s one of the main takeaways from the film.”

On working with his wife, he said, “Knowing each other the way we do helped us build the lethal and unique combination of actor and director, who can read each other’s mind. She is extremely talented, and winning the Best Narrative Feature Film award for this film speaks for itself. She’s a brilliant storyteller with an excellent sense of music and an eye for visual treats!”

Sarin himself also won the Best Actor award at the 9th Annual AFI World Peace Initiative and at the 3rd Annual Karl Bardosh Cellphone Humanitarian Awards held in Cannes, France.

There was no extra crew while working on the film. Says Sarin, “One of our chief guests, professor Karl Bardosh, founder of Cell Phone Cinema and Awards, said on the night of the premiere that Vineesha reminded him of Robert Rodriguez, who wrote, produced, edited and directed “El Mariachi.” He called Vineesha a powerhouse, one-woman army behind this picture who did it all. So I think that speaks volumes,” the proud husband goes on.

Arora shot, wrote and directed the film when they were facing strict lockdown in Los Angeles during the peak of the pandemic last year. “This wasn’t a part of the plan. We simply went on a family vacation that turned into a film! So there was no pre-planning, location scouting or even scripting done beforehand. And that’s no mean feat,” he says.

Arora, he says, knew what she wanted to shoot after she was shooting random scenes with him. “It was a spontaneous film if there can ever be one. But we managed it. She took the shots on her phone as there was no real equipment on vacation. She used nature as much as possible, like the abundant sunlight we take for granted sometimes. That became the natural light source. Shooting without a single other crew member was no mean feat, but we pulled it off. She directed me, I acted. This is what brings out the rawness in the character. Even I was surprised at the levels of emotions I could touch without all that extra equipment and planning. It was quite liberating actually. And that’s the charm of my wife’s first feature film.”

Arora has directed short films in the past. And she has many exciting ideas to share with the world soon.

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