Love, Loss, and the Rains: The Story behind Barsaat

Love, Loss, and the Rains: The Story behind Barsaat
There are a few films that make you feign an eye irritation as you quickly dry your tears at a crowded screening; that was us watching Barsaat- a poignant animated musical short by Ashwin Syam and Vipin Samuel, a Vicarious Prism production created in collaboration with Totem Creative
Barsaat is an animated musical short set to a melodious score narrating the story of a love that evolves through the rainy days of life.
As the team says,” This is a tale about the journey of a couple that looks to the ever-changing sky, reminiscing their youth and the countless moments from all that they witnessed together.”
“The couple begins life together and grows into a family of three, only to find out that their child has an illness with little to no hope for a cure. Where this inescapable eventuality takes them, and how they cope with the loss, forms the story.”
The heartfelt narrative is set in the misty hills of Munnar where the visuals of the rain and ‘Neelakurinji’ flowers become cyclic elements weaving the story of nature and emotions as the characters rediscover themselves in solitude and togetherness.
Barsaat is the brainchild of Ashwin Syam, who had composed a melody for a college assignment in 2016 and was keen on visualizing it. The plot was conceived on observing his grandfather coping with the loss of his grandmother after decades of companionship.
“Ashwin approached lyricist Gaurav Digga who introduced the canvas of rain on which the story was painted. Vipin Samuel, the director, was keen to explore how this could be presented and began the screenplay”
What was initially envisioned as a series of illustrated images of the story of a young couple from their youth to their waning years, soon transformed into a short film.
The trio collaborated with Padmashree Satyanarayana to develop the first draft of drawings and sketches, while Neeti Sivakumar visualized the environment for the screenplay.
After almost a year of storyboarding, building a production team and creating a pipeline, they were looking for teams to support the technical and creative work.
They say,” Handling production began to teach us lessons in the hardcore world of producing a film. The challenges grew and we felt like we were hitting a bottleneck, since we were funding the project with our personal finances.”
Enter the pandemic, Barsaat was a beacon of hope during the grueling lockdown days. They got in touch with Totem Creative, a 2D Animation Studio led by Arvind Singh Jeena & Nikhita Prabhudesai. The team grew into thirty creatives with diverse skillsets, spread across various cities, united towards making Barsaat.
They say,” In the face of a world health crisis, we found home and joy in making Barsaat, and our shared artistic goals enabled smooth progress in the animation process.”
Through the Barsaat journey, Vipin also actualized his goal of supporting and sponsoring projects by independent filmmakers and artists, thus, Vicarious Prism- a production house- was born.
He says,” The company’s upcoming projects in the realm of animation and film come from a long-term vision of expressing the immense creative potential in India through mind-bending themes, visuals, and sound.”
Director’s Cut
The Director’s Cut of Barsaat presents artwork and sketched scenes from the initial years of creating the essence of the animated visuals. The aesthetic is a colourful and sublime display of the world and characters, which went on to be fully animated with structure and nuance.
As Barsaat makes the rounds in various film festivals, including Animators Guild India Fest 2023(India, Best Animated Music Video Category), Bangalore International Short Film Festival 2023(India),Chaniartoon International Comic and Animation Festival 2023 (Greece),Cinanima International Animated Film Festival 2023(Portugal, Large Panorama Section), AniMela Festival 2024(India), and even bagging the Ram Mohan Viewer’s Choice Award for Professional Short Film at Anifest India 2024, we congratulate them for their perseverance and hard work in making their ideas a reality.
As they say, teamwork makes a dream work, we extend our compliments to the entire team behind Barsaat.
You can reach out to the team behind Barsaat on the channels below:
Ashwin Syam (Composer, Co-Creator and Story) is a composer and music producer based in Navi Mumbai. He is known for his independent songs such as Ariya Theeram, which received glowing reviews from the likes of Sithara Krishnakumar, gaining over 200,000+ streams across multiple audio platforms.
Vipin Samuel (Director, Story, Cinematographer and Editor) is a director and editor based out of Cochin. In his seven years of experience, he has been working in multiple mediums including short films, music videos, ad films and features. He also works with Stories in Motion in the series for Asian Paints ‘Where the Heart Is’, which crossed over 10 million views.
Totem Creative is an Indian animation studio specializing in 2D hand drawn animation and storytelling. They have produced a number of independent short films, animated commercials,promos and art for various brands, agencies and organizations including TED and Kissan.
Gaurav Diggais a lyricist based in Ahmedabad. He has frequently collaborated with Ashwin Syam on songs such as Aadhi Si and Nau Saal. Gaurav is known for blending profound thoughts with an easy to register writing style.
Jimmy Francis Johnbased out of Bangalore, began making waves in the industry with his mellifluous voice. He is known for songs from the movie 777 Charlie, and has worked with the likes of music director Nobin Paul (2018 movie fame) and Vasuki Vaibhav. He performs with the band Bryden-Parth.
Parvathy Manjunath known for her silky smooth and breezy voice, gained prominence in the reality show Amrita Super Star Junior in 2007 as a child prodigy. She has since sung for the legendary music director Ouseppachan. She is known for the song Thottal Pookkum from the film Moz and Cat.
Vicarious Prism
Links to the Film
Thanking Ritu Gopal for the writeup about Barsaat.