The Abu Dhabi Film Festival will screen two Indian movies. Srijit Mukherjee’s debut, Autograph, in Bengali starring Nandana Sen and Prosenjit Chatterjee will have its world premiere at the Festival, set to roll on October 14.
Autograph revolves around three people from the world of arts: a young director, a superstar and a theatre actress. Thrown together on a film set, they find their lives changing. Taking a captivating, thoughtful approach to celebrity culture and the pitfalls of the film world, Autograph has been inspired by Satyajit Ray’s Nayak and Ingmar’s Bergman’s Wild Strawberries. Essentially a movie within a movie, the narrative splits into two parallel strands, playing with the blurred boundaries between reality and the make-believe world of Tollywood (in Kolkata) stardom. The two narratives interweave as the story jumps between reel and real events: while one of the strands follows the unconventional relationship brewing between the star and a journalist, the other details the emotional triangle between the director, the actress and the superstar.
Mukherjee, an economist-turned-director, first came into limelight with his play, Feluda Ferot. Based on the immortal characters that Ray created for his extremely popular Feluda series of crime and mystery tales, Mukherjee’s work was celebrated in Bengal. The helmer says that Autograph – where a young director is trying to remake the Ray classic of Nayak (essayed by the matinee idol, Uttam Kumar) – is a tribute to the great master.
Mukherjee, Chatterjee and Sen, the daughter of the renowned economist, Amartya Sen, are expected to be at the Festival.
Also to be internationally premiered will be Paan Singh Tomar. Helmed by Tigmanshu Dhulia , it narrates the tale of a champion runner in the Indian Army who turns into an outlaw wrecking havoc in the Chambal Valley. Irrfan Khan is Tomar, and Mahie Gill portrays his screen wife. Both Khan and Dhulia will be at Abu Dhabi.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will be covering the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for Hindustan Times)