Actor Churni Ganguly, who is gearing up for the release of her debut feature film, Nirbashito (Banished), is presently writing another script, which much like the story of her debut film too has a mother-child subplot.
Based on the life of the exiled author Taslima Nasreen and her cat Minu, Nirbashito (Banished) has been immensely appreciated for its storyline at film festivals such as International Film Festival of India and Mumbai International Film Festival. Ganguly is also happy about the fact that Nasreen too has liked the film. "She was very happy after watching it," says the director.
Since the film has been inspired by Taslima's life, it will always have some elements of controversy. However, the filmmaker says that she has tried to focus on the mother-daughter (read her pet cat Minu) relationship and their eventual separation when Nasreen was forced to leave Kolkata in November 2007.
Ganguly, who plays the central character in the film and took more than a year-and-a-half to write the story, says, "The controversies surrounding her have been discussed at numerous platforms. So, that wasn't my focus. A part of the film is also fiction. It's not a biopic. It's inspired by her life. Since there is a lot of fiction, I didn't want bring the controversy to the forefront. That's a very typical way of looking at a film. The separation of a mother and her daughter is similar to the separation of an exiled person from her motherland. My main focus was on that area."
Interestingly, Ganguly did not have any plans of playing the central character in the film. It was her directorial team, which suggested her to put on basic make-up and give a look test. "I passed the look test. I was writing the story for more than a year, so I knew the emotional turmoil the character goes through. I decided to play the role. It was at the eleventh hour," smiles Churni, who has worked in films such as Arekti Premer Golpo, Shabdo and Waarish.
The film, which has been shot in Sweden and Kolkata, also stars a number of Swedish actors.