A self-shot documentary capturing everyday life during the lockdown, through the lens of 12 individuals from different walks of life, is a reminder of hope and being part of a global community in these grim times. Titled ‘United by Hope’, it features personalities like actors Richa Chadha and Kubbra Sait, and sportspeople like Dinesh Karthik and Bhaichung Bhutia, among several others.
Shot entirely on the OnePlus smartphones, and produced by VICE Media, the 38-minute film comes as an ode to the community with the aim of highlighting how the collective strength and compassion of a community can help overcome any adversity. The makers observed that despite the range of differences in their backgrounds and lifestyles, a common emotion empowers every individual to navigate through their respective challenges: the emotion of ‘Hope’, which served as the invisible link of connection amongst the individuals despite the distance and their differences.
Richa Chadha, who features in the film, shared: “2020 was supposed to be a big year for me, both personally and professionally. With everything coming to a standstill, I had a lot of time at hand to pursue my hobbies and enjoy the finer things in life. This is exactly when I was approached to be a part of ‘United By Hope’ and I didn’t have to think twice before taking it on. The filming was very authentic and the fact that it was all done on an OnePlus phone, made the process very easy for me. It was completely new for me to have to do everything by myself – from my makeup to framing, to finally filming each frame, As someone who has always been at the other end of the camera, I truly enjoyed every step of this fun journey.”
Turning the cast into crew as well, the making of the documentary was an act of bringing together people through technology – something also being witnessed worldwide during the ongoing pandemic.
Shubham Dharamsktu shared: “As a traveler and travel content creator, I have always found my passion and solace in traveling. For me, traveling is meant to always provide a truly positive learning experience. Therefore, when the pandemic struck, and we heard about the several travelers who were stranded in India desperately looking for help, I knew I had to find a means to help them and offer a source of hope and positivity. On that note, when I was given the opportunity to film my daily life for United by Hope documentary, this to me, was also a medium to show people how the most random acts of kindness and support towards your larger community can truly serve them with lasting optimism. It was a humbling experience to see that these foreign travelers who I was able to offer help to, eventually felt like they were a part of a close-knit community that supported each other despite the adversity.
“In the wake of a pandemic that led to the world adapting to a sudden change of life, we often heard from our community across the globe on how it was impacting them leading to experiences which can be termed as humanity’s greatest pause. This led us to embark on an experimental project and gage the range of emotions at play during the lockdown and how individuals from different walks of life dealt with this change in their daily lives,” Siddhant Narayan, Head of Marketing – India, OnePlus, told IANSlife.
Adding, “After we finalised the concept, we identified and chose 12 individuals from diverse backgrounds, ranging from athletes and artists, to popular gamer as well as frontline workers and individuals who went out of their way to serve the community in these challenging times. As we continued documenting the lives of each individual, our creative effort went on to showcase how the true strength of a united community prevails in these challenging times.”
The documentary is an interesting watch and is available on OnePlus India’s YouTube and social media channels.