A Serious Message Inspires Romantic Comedy


As a public health expert, Dr Nilesh Panchal understands the importance of awareness of COVID 19 prevention. While information on measures like social distancing, face mask, and hand washing from reliable sources is essential, Dr Panchal recognizes film and entertainment can be a powerful medium to communicate these messages to a wider audience.

Inspired in part by his own friend’s diagnosis with asymptomatic COVID19, Dr Panchal worked with Australian filmmaker Erifili Davis to turn his idea into a short screenplay for the romantic comedy, Together Apart.

“During the lockdown phase, we watched many movies, web series, and short films,” said Dr Panchal. “One day we were watching the movie Seeing and we loved it. It was written and produced by Erifili Davis.

“Then we watched Connection. My wife Nisha said ‘Wow, Erifili did a great job’. It was short and sweet movie.”

Dr Panchal decided to reach out to Mrs Davis to discuss a possible collaboration on the development of a short screenplay.

“When we discussed the story,” Dr Panchal said, “Erifili was impressed and was immediately ready to do this project. Everything is working out well.”

The story centres around a young couple who find themselves having to isolate due to a positive COVID 19 diagnosis and trying to make the best of a difficult situation.

The film is currently in pre-production in Dubbo, a regional town about five hours drive from Sydney, Australia, and is set to shoot in late August.

“Although we’re half a world apart,” Mrs Davis said, “I find communicating with Dr Panchal in his role as writer and producer great. He is a terrific collaborator.”

Dr Panchal agrees.

“We didn’t have any lag in the project due to the different time zones. Erifili is a great communicator. Even if it’s a different time zone, she responds promptly for project updates or any queries or questions related to the project.”

The film will feature two young Australia actors in the lead roles, Milla Ross and Jordan Davis. Ms Ross recently won a best actress award at the Prague International Monthly Film Festival for her role in the short film, Seeing.

About the character if Nat in Together Apart, Ms Ross said, “I think this is a fun role, I love the way the characters make the best of a bad situation.”

Mr Davis, who will play the role of Fynn, said, “I think it’s an important story with what the world is struggling with at the moment.”

Professional videographer, Daniel Rutter, will be Director of Photography on Together Apart.

“I’m looking forward to being back behind the camera doing what I love,” Mr Rutter said. “I’ve always looked forward to collaborating on projects with Erifili as I find we work well together. She’s always open to ideas and lets me flex my own creativity within these projects.”

Dr Panchal looks forward to the completion of the short film and plans to distribute it through film festivals. He is currently working on a story for a future web series project.

For more information, visit: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12775804/

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Website: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12775804/