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The inaugural film of course, already discussed in this column is Benche Thakar Gaan in Bengali with a social agenda that speaks on behalf of senior citizens from affluent backgrounds left on their own in a very good old people’s home but cannot rid themselves of their sense of alienation and loneliness.
Aniket Chattopadhyay’s Shankar Mudi has an unusual agenda. From the perspective of an old grocer Shankar Mudi, we look at how the small traders have been financially and socially marginalised with the entry of shopping malls in urban India.
With actor-director Kaushik Ganguly playing the title role, the film through its mildly melodramatic approach, tugs at the heart-strings of those who are fond of their small time tradesman they have practically grown up with.
Satarupa Sanyal’s Andhakarer Nadi unspools the story of how superstitious faith in black magic can destroy the life of a very young woman and how she is ghettoised by many so-called elders in the family and the village.
Satarupa’s films always revolve around gender issues and her last film Onyo Opala has made it to festivals across the country and beyond. She is also a poet and writer.
Samik Roy Choudhury makes his mark with D-Major that is centered on a young girl who aspires to become a musician but her dreams go awry when she becomes a drug user.
Choudhury won the best director award at the FOG international film festival, which was held in San Francisco in August. Another debutant director Anirban Paria presents his first film Baaje Chhobi with its intriguing title that essays a relationship drama with Priyanka Sarkar, Soumitra Chatterjee and Kaushik Sen in the lead.
Gaheen Hriday, an intimate novel on an adulterous relationship adapted from the late Suchitra Bhattacharya’s novel of the same name, makes its mark as perhaps the boldest film in the festival this year among the Bengali entries. It has a lot of intimate scenes starring Rituparna Sengupta and Debsankar Haldar with Koushik Sen in the major roles.
Director Mahua Chakraborty’s Tanzil, starring Amrita Chattopadhyay is the only Indian entry in the International Competition for Women Directors. Shankha Ghosh’s Atin Ela Ebond Char Adhyay, based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Char Adhyay, is a part of the Asian Select section.
Reshmi Mitra’s Hatath Dekha adapted from Rabindranath Tagore’s poem of the same name, pulled huge crowds in its screening at Nandan II which features Debasree Roy in the female lead after a long time with a famous Bangladeshi actor in the Indo-Bangladesh production.
The major attraction of Paromita Munshi’s Guhamanab lies in two things – one, it is based on a noted piece of work by Sirsendu Mukhopadhyay and two, it features Chiranjeeb in a major character. According to filmmaker Sekhar Das, Deeo Choudhury’s Alifa that is a part of Innovation in Moving Images this year, promises to be one of the biggest surprises at the festival this year.
Image: A scene from Shankar Mudi
(Reporting by Shoma A. Chatterji)