Bearlike Man

Directed by: Sapna Moti Bhavnani
Country: India
Genre: Psychological Horror, Gore, Dark, Fantasy,Body Horror



When Tara was younger, she was unknowingly possessed by a grizzly bear. When she finds out her son Angad has a rare disease, The Bear Syndrome, she is rattled. Upon the advice of the local witch that pubescent virgin blood would cure him, Tara purchases Sanj, a 12-year-old girl and gets them married. Angad has been kept locked in a room all his life with no access to the outside world with only a mirror to reflect on. The story revolves around his and Sanj’s journey as they find freedom from matriarchy. The possessed Tara and the Bearlike Angad come to terms with their own demons as Sanj looks into her own mirror of darkness.

Director’s vision

It is a mad time to be alive. Recently I came across a story of a woman (now 55) who was married to man with werewolf syndrome at the age of 12. I tracked her down only to find out she had lost her speech since marriage. Her silence gave me a voice.
Bears have always made a strong masculine image for me even though as kids we played with timid teddy bears and longed for big bear hugs. The paradox in itself is alluring. I wanted to go beyond the physical, social and spiritual spaces that we occupy and make an attempt to connect with the atavistic world and its forces. Animals not considered beautiful or domestic, along with spaces that are heaps of rejected material, became my starting point and I tried to imbue it with meaning, value and dignity.


Director’s biography

Sapna Moti Bhavnani is best known as the producer and director of the award-)winning documentary SINDHUSTAN (2019), which is about the largest migration of a culture (Sindhi) in history, told through tattoos on her body. SINDHUSTAN has won 11 Awards, traveled to 23 international festivals, and is now streaming on MovieSaints.

In July 2020, Sapna founded Wench Films to empower the feminine gaze and push women talent from India to the world. Keeping the Wench philosophy “Shaping Perspectives by Shifting The Gaze,” she further founded Wench Film Festival in 2021 and has successfully finished two editions while spotlighting 174 women. The 2022 edition was India’s first Genre Film Festival which showcased 44 films directed by Women.

Her second hybrid feature, MY DOG IS SICK, was an official selection at the prestigious Visions Du Reel Film Market and World Premiered at New Horizons International Festival in 2021. The story for Sapna’s next feature BEARLIKE MAN was officially selected at NAFF Festival 2021. She is currently developing a Docu VR series on sexual assault (I DID NOT SCREAM), a documentary on one of the first Cabaret Bars in Bombay (BLUE NILE), managed by her father titled FINDING TAMIKO THE TOMATO, while finishing a book – Chapter One – for Harper Collins.


Production Company: Wench Films

Video presentation