Dibakar Banerjee is ecstatic. The filmmaker has just received confirmation from Greek author Vassilis Vassilikos, who wrote the novel Z, that he will attend Shanghai’s international premiere along with the cast and crew. Dibakar’s under-production venture, political thriller Shanghai is based on Vassilikos’s book.
Dibakar says, “The book was brought to my notice by the film’s writer Urmi Juvekar. I was impressed with this intense and emotionally charged story about the accident of a prominent political activist that happened in Greece in 1963, and the events that took place after that. I realised the incidents that were at the core of the book could make an interesting Indian film about our contemporary political and social reality.”
Dibakar recounts that the film’s producer traced the author, flew down to Greece and showed him the intended treatment of the adaptation, before signing the deal. He says, “My producer met Vassilis, who is 70 plus. He was thoroughly amazed and tickled at the same time. But then he read my treatment and called to say ‘I can understand what you are trying to do and at its core the book is about that’.”
Dibakar even sent the author a copy of the screenplay once it was ready. He reveals, “Vassilikos called and said ‘Dibakar, I have seen your photo and I like your glasses and your screenplay. My blessings are with your film’. That was very heartening. Once we release the film, he will be with us at the world premiere.”