Skip to main content
Tortoise Under the Earth film image, director Shishir Jha

Tortoise Under the Earth

This event has passed

International Premiere

Shishir Jha enters the scene with this richly layered cultural snapshot, thoughtfully excerpting an intimate tragedy to contextualize the wider environmental disaster enveloping the Santhal tribe, an ethnic group native to India and Bangladesh, whose lives are at risk by their proximity to uranium mining.

Centering on the story of a young couple trying to come to terms with the loss of their daughter, Tortoise Under the Earth captures a heartbreaking sense of yearning, gradually expanding on the narrative scope to include regional specificities. Jha adopts a hybrid docu-fiction format to accentuate the layers of subtext at play, weaving ethnological and anthropological elements, and elegantly casting a macro lens over a heartfelt micro storyline. The gentle, observational gaze results in mesmerizing imagery, glimpsing tribal traditions and folklore, and a spiritually rich way of life in harmony with nature. Jha impresses with fresh, intuitive filmmaking, drawing from an immersive process that results in a sense of immediacy and powerful humanist messaging.

 

Presented by

Director
Cast

Jagarnath Baskey, Mugli Baskey

Credits
Country of Origin

India

Year

2022

Language

In Santhali with English subtitles

Film Contact
18+
95 min
Drama Human Rights & Social Justice

Book Tickets

This event has passed.

More Films in this Series

Know Your Place

Award Winners Drama

Running an important errand across south Seattle, two teenagers become aware that their rapidly gentrifying city is slowly forcing out people of colour like themselves. An Emerald City odyssey that investigates identity, responsibility, and community.

The Cinematheque

Other Cannibals

Drama

Fausto and Ivan are making important preparations. Both are careful to maintain boundaries and honour their side of the arrangement. Except they keep postponing the main event. That’s understandable, as it involves taking a human life.

The Cinematheque

The Locust

Comedy Drama Women Directors

With her semi-autobiographical screenplay finally going into production, Hanieh must now contend with the nonplussed cast's cutting remarks. This filmmaker's tragicomic living hell is fueled by anarchic energy, palpable anxiety, and biting humour.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre International Village 8
Harvest Moon
Harvest Moon film image, director Amarsaikhan Baljinnyam

Harvest Moon

Comedy Drama

A delightfully tender drama following a man returning to his native village to tie up loose family ends, where he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a 10-year-old orphan boy determined to claim his place in the vast Mongolian grasslands.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre The Cinematheque

Nightsiren

Award Winners Women Directors

A young woman shows up in a remote Slovakian mountain village looking for answers about her tragic family past, but her arrival sparks vicious rumours, resurrecting old superstitions that reveal a troubled family history.

The Rio Theatre
The Uncle
The Uncle film image, co-directors David Kapac and Andrija Mardešić

The Uncle

In the 1980s Balkan countryside, a family prepares for the arrival of their uncle, who will inspect every detail of the Christmas presentation. They eat turkey, sing, watch family videos, and open presents. But something is amiss.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre International Village 8

Credits

Producer

Vinay Mishra, Pallavi Rohatgi, Preety Ali, Raghavan Bharadwaj, Shishir Jha, Mritunjay Jha

Screenwriter

Shishir Jha

Cinematography

Shishir Jha

Editor

Shishir Jha

Original Music

Durga Prasad Murmu

Director

Shishir Jha headshot, Tortoise Under the Earth director

Shishir Jha

Shishir Jha is a Mumbai-based filmmaker born in 1988 in Bihar, India. He graduated from the National Institute of Design with a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Video Communication Design. He then did a Master’s in Film Direction at the Sarajevo Film Academy, and has received a Filmmaking diploma from the late Abbas Kiarostami’s workshop at Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión (EICTV) in Cuba. He is one of the directors of Shuruaat Ka Interval (2014), an anthology film released by PVR Director’s Rare.