Eight Bengali films including one Hindi have been selected at the Indian Panorama section at the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, which kick starts on November 20. This is no mean feat for Tollywood because among 26 films at Indian Panorama, eight are from Bengal.
Veteran filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, is the only Hindi entry from Bengal. The seven Bengali films are Srijit Mukherji’s Rajkahini, Kaushik Ganguly’s Cinemawala, Debesh Chattopadhyay’s Natoker Moto, Suman Ghosh’s Kadambari, Satarupa Sanyal’s Onyo Opolaa, Sankar Debnath’s Pakaram, and Bappaditya Bandopadhyay’s Sohra Bridge. That’s not all. There’s more good news for Bengali cinelovers. Among the 15 films, which will be competing at International Competition Films’ section, only two Indian films have been selected. And interestingly, both the films, Natoker Moto and Cinemawala, are from Bengal.
Theatre personality Chattopadhyay, who made his debut in films with Natoker Moto, says, “I have received a lot of awards for my work in theatre but I never imagine in my wildest dream that my debut film will make it to IFFI. I am also happy that so many Bengali films have been selected at Indian Panorama section,” says the director. Natoker Moto is based on the veteran Bengali theatre personality Keya Chakraborty. Both the director and actor Paolo Dam will be in Goa to attend the screening of the film.
Sanyal, whose debut film Anu (1998), was screened at IFFI too, is happy with the selection. “My debut film was selected at IFFI and now Onyo Opolaa has also made it to Indian Panorama. I couldn’t be happier,” says the director. In the meantime, among the aforementioned films, Mukherji’s Rajkahini, starring Rituparna Sengupta, Ghosh’s Kadambari, starring Konkona Sen Sharma and Parambrata Chatterjee, Chattopadhyay’s debut film Natoker Moto starring Paoli Dam, and Debnath’s Pakaram have already released in Kolkata.
Director Kaushik Ganguly will also be a part of the special series, In Conversation, with filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Vettrimaran and Anand L Rai (Tanu Weds Manu fame) to discuss films and the art of filmmaking with the audience at IFFI, which is touted as the biggest film festival of Asia.
1. ANWAR KA AJAB KISSA (Hindi): Directed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta, the film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
2. CINEMAWALA (Bengali): Directed by Kaushik Ganguly, the film stars Parambrata Chatterjee and Sohini Sarkar.
3. KADAMBARI (Bengali): Directed by Suman Ghosh, the film stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Parambrata Chatterjee.
4. RAJKAHINI (Bengali): Directed by Srijit Mukherji, the film stars Rituparna Sengupta, Parno Mittra, Jisshu Sengupta.
5. NATOKER MOTO (Bengali): Directed by Debesh Chattopadhyay, the film stars Paoli Dam and Bratya Basu.
6. ONYO OPOLAA (Bengali): Directed by Satarupa Sanyal, the film stars Ritabhari Chakraborty and Roopa Ganguly.
7. SOHRA BRIDGE (Bengali): Directed by Bappaditya Bandopadhyay, the film stars Niharika Singh.
8. PAKARAM (Bengali): Directed by Sankar Debnath, the film stars Sohom Maitra, Subrat Dutta and Anjana Basu.