Bombay Rose director Gitanjali Rao has a new film out. It’s a short – it clocks in at four minutes and 10 seconds – and has the Covid-19 pandemic as its backdrop. Tomorrow My Love will be premiered at the Locarno Film Festival (August 4-14).

The film revisits the animation style and characters seen in Rao’s directorial debut, Printed Rainbow (2006). The new work revolves around an elderly woman ailing from Covid-19 and her partner’s efforts to keep her company. A dog and a cat also feature in the black-and-white film.

“I have actually gone back to using the same style I used in my earlier film Printed Rainbow,” Rao told For Tomorrow My Love, she created the effect of charcoal on hand-made paper with the Corel Painter application.

“This time, I have used layers because the software now allows you to,” Rao added. “I like making my films using very basic and oft-repeated techniques. Just like my characters happen to appear in different films. Here I have re-used the old woman, her cat, the old man and his dog from Printed Rainbow. It is the same people but I tell a different story in their life.”

Printed Rainbow (2006).

The film was sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. After Bombay Rose, Rao’s first full-length feature, was premiered at film festivals in 2019, she was itching to work on another project. “But then the pandemic happened and somehow I could not muster the inspiration to write a new film,” she said. “Neither was I happy doing no animation. When the entire world was grappling with letting their old folks die alone, I read an article where doctors and nurses urged the families to play their favourite music as they lay dying, because it seems hearing is the last faculty/sense to leave the human body when dying. This thought evolved into the film.”

Rao started working on Tomorrow My Love in May 2020. She finished the animation by herself over eight months.

Tomorrow My Love (2021). Courtesy Gitanjali Rao.

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