Bishal Dutta’s Neverlanders is a beautiful story incredibly easy to relate to. A middle-aged woman recalls the day she had to leave for college — standing on the shore of a rumbling, petrifying river, lacking determination and vision, Sammy knows she’s tiptoeing on the verge of the rest of her life, getting cold feet at the point of her journey when the neatly paved road of her childhood turns into the unexplored, wild jungle path of adulthood. “Reality is the enemy,” a mysterious homeless Peter Pan tells her, “but if you make life an adventure, you can make it through.” These words echo throughout this memorable short film, making it almost a must-see for every confused young adult in the audience.
I conceived the idea for Neverlanders days before my high school graduation, when a classmate confessed that she felt something crucial was missing, that she couldn’t bring herself to accept the bright future she had in front of her. From that, and many similar fears of friends, peers and even myself, came this story of a brilliant young woman terrified of a future coming at her like a freight train and how meeting a new-age, revisionist Peter Pan might help her overcome her fears.
We shot the film over two days at the beautiful Belle Isle State Park which sits on the James River.
I started making short films at the beginning of high school with a number of extremely talented and hard-working individuals. We worked under the title, “Oakmane Media,” using every resource available to experiment, be creative and produce shorts that were really worth seeing. Currently, I am in Los Angeles, CA, focused on meeting new talent, as well as writing a feature film. –Bishal Dutta