Rajshree Ojha is making her foray into Bollywood with her feature film
(Crossroads), which is adapted from Nirmal Verma’s short stories. Screened at the Mumbai Film Festival on March 9, the film is now all set to release by the middle of this year.
The girl with a strong Bong connection (her mother is a Bengali) was brought up in Bangalore. After completing her Post-graduation from American Film Institute, she started working on this cross-cultural film, which deals with issues of infidelity and homosexuality. Says Ojha, “It’s a contemporary film, which urban people can relate to.”
The cast of the film includes Zeenat Aman, Shayan Munshi, Soha Ali Khan, Ankur Khanna, Victor Banerjee, Roopa Ganguly, Kiera Chaplin and Suchitra Pillai among others.
“It was a pleasure working with Zeenat Aman. Though she has a special appearance in the film yet it was an honour to have her. She is a very graceful lady,” adds the director.
The other attraction is Chaplin’s grand-daughter Keira. “She was introduced to me through a common friend. When Kiera read the script, she wanted to be part of the film,” says Ojha, who was in Kolkata for the film shoot in 2005.
The movie is mostly made in English peppered with colloquial languages. “Along with English, we have used Malayalam and Bengali too,” says Ojha.
is based on different relationships, which have been grouped thematically yet three stories runs parallel. Though I would say that the film doesn’t fall into the ‘art’ genre yet cannot be taken lightly. It is shot at a slow pace at three different places — Mumbai, Kolkata and Cochin,” explains the young director.
Mani Kanth Kadri, a South-based music director has composed the music for the film while Gulzar has penned one song. The young filmmaker strongly feels about the recent status in Bollywood. “My film is categorised as an off-beat film as it does not fall under the typical commercial format. Movies like
do enhance my confidence as Mira Nair offered a different kind of a film without being stereotypical.”
Among Indian filmmakers, whose work inspires her the most? “Satyajit Ray is the one I look up to and my first documentary film, Badger that won several awards, including the American Award Guild, starred Dhritiman Chatterjee. You can gather that I followed Ray’s cast. Even veteran actor Victor Banerjee is in
The film is slated to release sometime in July or August. “I have already started working on my next venture, penning a script along with another writer,” says Ojha.