Acclaimed Marathi scriptwriter Chitra Palekar's directorial debut Maati Maay, starring Nandita Das and Atul Kulkarni, will be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8.
Based on Mahasweta Devi's short story Baayen, the Marathi film revolves around Chandi, a beautiful young woman from a lower caste whose family has traditionally been in charge of a children's graveyard.
When Chandi's father dies, there is no other male in the family and she inherits the job and performs it with great pride as her sacred duty. But things start to change after she gives birth to her son Bhagirath.
Produced and scripted by Palekar, the film is a heartrending tale of a young mother who is trapped between her instincts and needs, and the compulsions of her ancestral duty as dictated by the social system.
The film also has Kshitij Gavande who plays Nandita's son Bhagirath. Music is by Bhaskar Chandavarkar and cinematography by Debu Deodhar.
Palekar began her artistic career with theatre in the mid 1960s and played lead roles in several Hindi and Marathi plays, winning several state awards.
In 1981, she joined movies with the Marathi film Aakriet which she acted in and also produced. It won a special jury award at the Three Continents' Film Festival in Nantes, France, and was an international success. At home, it got four state awards and was also selected for the prestigious Indian Panorama.
Palekar has worked in television and scripted highly rated serials like Kachchi Dhoop, Naquab and Paoolkhuna. Besides, she has penned the screenplays for critically acclaimed films like Thodasa Roomani Ho Jaaye and Kairee.