Film shot in Uttarakhand selected for Toronto Film Festival

  • Neha Pant, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2016 20:33 IST
From left to right: Actors Raj Zutshi and Kunal Malla, director Goran Paskaljevic and actor Victor Banerjee during the shoot of Devbhoomi in Uttarakhand. (HT Photo)

Devbhoomi, an Indo-Serbian joint film venture shot in Uttarakhand, has been selected for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to be held in September this year.

Directed by European filmmaker Goran Paskaljevic, the film will be screened at the Masters of Cinema Section, which features new films by the ‘world’s most influential art-house filmmakers’.

The film, which gave a platform to several talents of the state, will also have a world première at the prestigious film festival.

Devbhoomi was shot over a span of 90 days across a bevy of spectacular mountainous locations of Uttarakhand like Auli, Tungnath, Chopta, Joshimath and Badrinath.

Filmmaker Paskaljevic, who is known for making over 30 documentaries and 16 feature films, had declared that the film’s story is like an “intimate poem, a simple dramatic structure amid the backdrop of the magnificent landscape of the Himalayas and (portraying) the rural life away from the urban cities”.

The film traces the journey a 65-year-old man who decides to return to his native village in Garhwal (Uttarakhand) after spending four decades in England. His homecoming is prompted by the fact that he’s fast losing his eyesight and wants to take one last look at the world he ran away from 40 years ago.

The transnational co-production stars actors Victor Banerjee, Geetanjali Thapa, Raj Zutshi and Uttara Baokar.

The news has brought cheers among the artistes who are a part of the project. Kunal Shamshere Malla, a leading actor of Dehradun who has played the role of a drunkard villager in the movie, says the film will give an international exposure to the state.

“People across the world will be really attracted towards the spectacular locations of Uttarakhand after watching the film. It will also attract more and more international productions to come and shoot here,” said Malla, who has earlier acted in films like Dum Laga Ke Haisha and Say Yes to Love among other projects.

Paskaljevic’s works have been showcased at international film festivals at Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Toronto among others.

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