The late actor in a still from the film. Photograph:( WION )
The film couldn't have been better timed. On Children's Day, filmmaker Bhargav Saikia has released a film called The Black Cat- based on popular children's writer Ruskin Bond's short story. The film stars late actor Tom Alter- his last finished film along with Shernaz Patel.
Based in Mussorie, Alter plays the author himself while Shernaz Patel plays Miss Bellows, a witch. The story begins at an antique store where Bond buys a broomstick and brings it home. Soon after, a black cat forced its way into Mr Bond's house, disrupting his work and peace. While the author lets the cat in and lets it stay, the cat creates havoc inside his house. Until one day Miss Bellows comes looking for the cat and claims it's hers. While Mr Bond does return the cat back to her happily, he also finds his broom missing. How he finds the broom back and how it is connected to Miss Bellows forms rest of the story.
The short film has been directed by Bhargav Saikia and has been traveling to various international film festivals in the past few months. It was also screened at the 20th International Children's Film Festival India 2017 which was held from 8th to 14th November 2017 in Hyderabad.
Veteran actor Tom Alter passed away in September this year after battling skin cancer. The actor was known to be good friends with writer Ruskin Bond whom he portrays in the short film.
The official poster of The Black Cat. (WION)
The Black Cat has been shot in various locations in Mussoorie and Nainital. It features important landmarks of these picturesque towns including The Retreat, a beautiful colonial property near Nainital which was built in the late 1860s by the British. Bhargav Saikia had also recently organized a special screening of the film for Ruskin Bond in Mussorie who was extremely pleased with the film.
“Ruskin Bond is a national treasure and I cannot think of a better occasion than Children’s Day to release The Black Cat. I strongly believe the film will appeal to younger audiences as well as adults. The Black Cat has been made with utmost love and care, and I am extremely excited to share the film with everyone today. I dedicate the film to Tom Alter," said Saikia.