Rajan is a young man living in America, and his mother is a zombie. Plagued by visions of who his mother once was, Rajan struggles to communicate with his father about his anger and sadness about his mother’s affliction. His father, Jyotin, struggles to communicate back with Rajan or acknowledge his grief. Rajan is reaching a boiling point.

The inspiration for this story comes from my experiences growing up as a first generation immigrant in the US with a bipolar mother. My experiences with my mother often were frightening and overwhelming. I often felt a sense of having lost her. Even through the frightening cycles of psychosis and medication, she always remained my mother and my love for her never changed. The relationship between the protagonist Rajan and his father reflects the changed family dynamics that occurred as a result of this illness and the difficulty men in a family have communicating with one another. Mater Mortis is an exploration of these themes through the lens of horror. I hope this short shows the complex and often conflicting emotions people go through while a loved one is severely ill. My desire is that it inspires empathy, self reflection and conversation.

–Rishi Gandhi, director