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Another Win For Asis Sethi’s ‘a Bloody Mess’ – An Inspirational Film On Normalizing Menstruation

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Jyothi Venkatesh

Ace filmmaker Asis Sethi’s short film ‘A Bloody Mess’ which wants to normalize conversations surrounding menstruation, is winning many awards around the world. This time it has been awarded with ‘Excellence in Filmmaking’ at the International Filmmaker Festival of New York. Before this, ‘A Bloody Mess’ won the prestigious REMI Award at the 53rd WorldFest – Houston International Film Festival; an award which was given to the giants of the film industry, including Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, the Coen Brothers and many more. As the list of awards continues to grow, Asis has a vision to bring even more films to our screens in the next year. Bravo Asis!

As a South Asian Canadian filmmaker, Asis Sethi has longed to watch films that normalize conversations surrounding otherwise taboo or sensitive topics, and with that in mind, she set out to make her film “A Bloody Mess”. Produced by Fly Away Films Inc. and Think Brown Media, this short film brings to light Asis’s vision of getting the story across of the kind of angst a teenager can go through when she is constantly bombarded with traditional practices that disable her from voicing a plain and simple fact – that she is on her period. The film stars Maria Crystal Melo, Annie Koshy, and Devanshu Narang in lead roles.

Maria Crystal Melo plays the role of Varsha, a young South Asian girl who battles against her family’s traditional beliefs surrounding menstruation, which comes with rules prohibiting her from having an open dialogue with her father about periods. Since she was a child, Varsha has been told that while periods are normal, there are certain things she cannot do while menstruating, engaging her in an internal struggle as she tries to strike a balance between respecting her family and her own individual autonomy.

Asis Sethi has previously directed, written, and produced many independent projects including “The Colourful Crown”, a documentary film based on the effects of 9/11 on turban wearers in Canada, which was screened at film festivals and aired on OMNI Television nationally. Her sixteen episode docu-series “Darshan Dekh Jeevan” has also aired nationally on OMNI Television for five years. She made a recent video with her team at FlyAway Films Inc., consisting of the wonderful women she works with, Armin Sethi, Daisy Kaur, Shwayta Sharma, Amreen Ghouse, and the talented Kamraan Mohamed. The video, called “Future Superheroes” sheds light on the importance of giving back to the world and nature through the eyes of a six year old girl writing a letter to her pen pal in a care home.

Asis is excited to share that she is in the midst of finalizing the editing of another short film titled, Still. She is also in the development phases of two projects: a short film focusing on the post-partum journey of a new mother and a feature film project which is currently under wraps.As she progresses in her cinematic journey as a filmmaker and storyteller, Asis hopes to continue to stand up as a voice for groups who have consistently been suppressed in society. Through her film “A Bloody Mess”, Asis has been engaging in important conversations in the community on national radio stations, television stations and web shows about menstrual hygiene. She hopes to continue to engage in conversations in the community with her upcoming projects.’A Bloody Mess’ is screening in many countries around the world including Canada, the US, India, and Italy.