Chandan Roy Sanyal’s film shot on a smartphone becomes finalist at a film festival in Spain
Chandan Roy Sanyal’s directorial So Sicily has been selected as the finalist at Cinephone International Smart Phone Film Festival in Barcelona, Spain. He has shot it on a smartphone with a four-member crew across Italy for a month in 2019.
“After I wrote So Sicily, I thought that rather asking people for money to make it, I collaborated with two other friends. We decided to shoot it our way. Thereafter, I reached out to another actor friend of mine who lives in Munich. She travelled from Munich to Italy and we met in Sicily where we did a workshop,” he shares, adding that he also acted in it.
Sanyal wishes that had it not been for the pandemic, he would have sent the film to other film festivals as well. However, he thoroughly enjoyed the process: “There are some stories that you can tell with just a camera and an actor. We shot across oceans, deserts, forts, palaces, churches, trains, ships, airport and stations. We took a car from Rome and drove down to South Italy. We took the car on a ship too.”
Over the years, the Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017) actor has made a few short films with his own money and has shared them with his directors for their feedback. “They’ve come out really well. I’ve shown them to people I admire like Vishal Bhardwaj, Prakash Jha and Imtiaz Ali. They appreciated my storytelling and encouraged me to make more films.”
But does he have any plans of directing a feature film someday? “Yes, I’ve been writing. I want to tell new stories and make new-age stories much like Godard who brought about a new wave in French cinema. I’ve begun to think beyond acting now. I often think myself of an actor in other people’s stories because that can help me benefit as a storytelling,” Sanyal ends.