The Cloud Messenger

  • 148'
  • India
  • 2022

Uniforms, morning roll call, order, and discipline determine life at a prestigious boarding school somewhere in the Himalaya’s misty foothills. 16-year-old Jaivardhana isn’t thriving in this authoritarian environment. An opportunity for temporary respite from this strict regime presents itself, when a former teacher visits the school and offers interested students a photography workshop. During Mr Sapru’s inspiring lessons, the young people don’t learn about depth of field or shutter speed, but they do learn to open their senses and experience the world around them.

The photography lessons also introduce Jaivardhana to Tarini, a new student he has been watching for a while now. Something cautiously develops between the two timeless lovers – because their present meeting proves to fulfil a centuries-old desire, that references a classic Indian tale about tragic lovers and an evil, jealous ruler. When fate strikes, Jaivardhana decides to seek out the mythical figure Hanuman.

This lends this coming-of-age film a cosmic dimension, that director Rahat Mahajan also expresses in his debut feature film’s narrative form. Contemporary and ancient storytelling meet in an original fusion of classic cinema, with expressive storytelling traditions from the south of India. Mahajan’s own boarding school experiences were not only the inspiration, but also provided the film’s principal location, as it came about in collaboration with students and staff of his former school.

Available on Festival Scope Pro from 26 January 9:00 CET to 14 February 9:00 CET

Rahat Mahajan
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
P&I Selection 2022
Original title
English, Sanskrit, Malayalam
Sanjay Singh
Production Companies
Sanjay Singh FIlms, Mahamudra Collective
Mahamudra Collective
Rahat Mahajan
Rahat Mahajan, Anil Pingua
Rahat Mahajan, Bina Paul
Production Design
Rahat Mahajan
Sound Design
Kunal Sharma
Nikhel Kumar Mahajan
Ritvik Tyagi, Ahalya Shetty, Raj Zutshi, Kapila Venu, Rajeevan Peesappilly, Lalita Shivani, Sadanand Bhasi