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Radhika Apte's The Sleepwalkers wins Best Midnight Short award at Palm Springs International ShortFest

The actress makes her directorial debut with this 33-minute dark moody thriller starring Gulshan Devaiah and Shahana Goswami.

Photo: Palm Springs International ShortsFest

Our Correspondent

Radhika Apte's directorial debut, the short film The Sleepwalkers, has picked up the Best Midnight Short award at Palm Springs International ShortFest this year. Like most film festivals, it was held virtually from 16 to 22 June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The dark, moody thriller features Gulshan Devaiah and Shahana Goswami as a couple trying to start their family, while trying to figure out if they have been sleepwalking. The 33-minute film has been produced by Honey Trehan and Abhishek Chaubey's MacGuffin Pictures, and Lalit Prem Sharma.

Apte, who is currently in London, England, shared the good news on Instagram once the winners were announced by the festival.

The Sleepwalkers was chosen out of 332 shorts films that were part of the official selection. The jury statement for the award said, "We’re proud to give the jury award to first time director Radhika Apte for her elegiac folk horror tale Sleepwalkers, with its wonderfully petulant characters and haunted landscapes. We could sense the identity of the filmmaker in every frame and are excited to see what she does next.” The short film also receives a $1,000 cash prize.

Another Indian film, Mizaru, picked a special mention for director Sudarshan Suresh. His short, set in Mumbai, features a couple trying to find some alone time when they are harassed by the moral police.

Many of the winners from the Palm Springs International ShortFest are now eligible for the 2021 Academy Awards in the short film categories.

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