On Either Sides of The Pond (Parth Saurabh) India. Official Section

On Either Sides of The Pond
Parth Saurabh
India. 2022. 105 min

Sumit and Priyanka are staying in a decrepit room inside a boys’ hostel, having just returned to Darbhanga, their conservative hometown, after spending a couple of years in a metropolitan city. They had eloped together and haven’t been in touch with their families since then. Sumit is looking for a job, but due to the Covid lockdown, jobs are harder to come by. Priyanka is trying to get back in touch with her father, who has stopped speaking to her ever since she eloped with Sumit. While Priyanka tries to convince Sumit that their life is away from Darbhanga, Sumit dreams up ambitious plans to solve their problems. But the plans are more dreams that he is weaving, instead of actively pursuing them.


Parth Saurabh was born and brought up in Darbhanga, the setting of ‘Pokhar Ke Dunu Paar’. Having completed his graduation in Engineering from IIT Kanpur, but feeling disillusioned, he proceeded to study direction from Whistling Woods. While there, he was selected by Looking China, where he made his short documentary ‘The Ballad of Toyuk’ about the architecture and people of Xinjiang. His first feature screenplay ‘A Temple in the Village’ was selected for the NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab, 2017. Unable to secure funding for the project, his next work was as the editor on Nisheeta Keni’s ‘Bogda’. He has also been part of the writing team on Achal Mishra’s critically acclaimed film ‘Dhuin’ and Anubhav Sinha’s upcoming film ‘Bheed’. ‘Pokhar Ke Dunu Paar’, his debut feature film as a director, went on to receive a Special Mention for the New Directors Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.


‘On either sides of the pond’ is about the distances that have grown among us. The distance between the male and female genders that have only been exacerbated by defined gender roles.
The distance between conservative and progressive ideologies that refuse to build a bridge and live together. But at its heart, the film is about the disintegration of a relationship, under the weight of financial strain and social conditioning. Sumit and Priyanka have tried to escape society but have been unable to overcome the structures their society has taught them.
In June 2020, after flights and trains re-opened, India saw extensive reverse migration from metropolitan cities to smaller towns. I was one of those people that returned back to my hometown for the next few months. The picture of my hometown I saw back then, youth going to waste, living in squalor, everyone more or less, unemployed, moved me.