July 04, 2019

Headrest-Won’t come to your rescue

A common misconception can often lead to dire situations and can prove fatal. Headrest highlights one such issue and raises awareness about it. We got chatty with the film’s director Sandeep M. Singh

As told to: Shourya Jain

Heavy monsoons remind us how easy it is to get stuck in an ATM, building or in a car. Mumbai is witnessing the plight of heavy rains as cars are getting stuck on water-logged roads and people trapped in the cars are unable to get out, putting them at a risk of suffocation. But it’s not just monsoons when we see accidental lock-ups in cars, similar events happen round the year. Several people, majorly children get accidentally locked in cars and some die of suffocation. Maximus Films has come up with a public service film, earlier this year, which brings to light a gory issue which is easily looked past due to negligence and lack of knowledge. Headrest, a public service film, comes with a cause to enlighten people about the issue and raise awareness. We got in touch with the Director of the film, Sandeep M. Singh to know more about him, the film and commuter safety. Read on

Q: What provoked you to come up with Headrest-another one of your public service films?
A: In the year 2012, I was reading the newspaper and got to read about a media report which said, ‘Three kids died after accidentally getting locked in a car, in Vikroli’. The scene was so gory when the kids were finally found the next day that it will send shivers down anyone’s spinewho sees it. It is a common notion that the seat’s Headrest can be used as a tool to break the car windows in case of an emergency. With the technological advancements you get to see these days, it is difficult to do that in the latest cars. And that is the thought behind this film. To make people aware of the fact that their misconception could lead them into a trap they can’t possibly get out of.

Q: But it doesn’t happen that often does it?
A: You’d be surprised to know that it happens more often than you think. Cases have come to light from all across the country where kids or pets have gotten locked inside a vehicle and died due to suffocation.

Q: What do you suggest as a solution? Have you come up with a product?
A: This project is very close to my heart and is for a greater cause. I do not wish to commercialise it. But we have worked out a small model hammer prototype that you can conveniently carry in your car and use in case of emergencies. Of course in India, these things come with their own cons like misuse of hammer during a road rage case, therefore the permissions and approvals could take longer. But in foreign countries it is very prevalent for citizens to carry an emergency tool kit. In fact in countries like Singapore and Middle Eastern and European countries it is mandatory to keep a safety hammer in the vehicles.

Q: Where can our readers watch this film?
A: So far we have released it on YouTube. We want this film to reach to a wider audience. We are now trying and showcasing the film at a lot of schools, so that even children can be made aware of the fact that playing or staying back alone in a car can be dangerous.

Q: What was your first public service film?
A: The first one was called Plight which highlighted the issue of the plight of elderly people. The movie was widely accredited and was picked up by the BJP government and by the ministry of social justice and empowerment. It was played on more than 50 channels and 900 cinema halls across India.

Watch it here!

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