Sharing my first short film “The Cemetery”

Making a short film amid a host of odds and still enjoying every moment of the journey is probably the most enriching memory that I have for my first short film. With some due accolades from the international film festivals and a prime time telecast in one of the major national channels in India, “The Cemetery” has come a long way.

 

I am sharing this for those who have missed it and for those who would like to watch something different from the regular films they are subjected to. So, here you go… Do share your feedback and leave your comments.

 

Please RATE my film on IMDb simply by clicking on the button below:
The Cemetery (2014) on IMDb

5 Reasons why should you watch this film:

  1. Captured in the backdrop of the oldest colonial cemetery of South East Asia, The Cemetery is a short film depicting a timepiece of human behavior in solitude and distress. It is an example of my understanding of an attempted relationship that culminates with a subtle understanding of human feelings.
  2. The film was showcased by NDTV Prime which narrates a surreal story about a woman and an old man and their chance encounter in one of the colonial cemeteries in Calcutta.
  3. The film is devoid of dialogues; however a soothing music accompanied by a solemn narration takes the story ahead.
  4. Watch out Barun Chanda in a very different character as he plays a visitor and a story seeker in The Cemetery. He along with Tanusree Chakraborty who plays Carol pulls out amazing performances to justify this otherwise alternative attempt to capture unsaid or indescribable human emotions.
  5. The Cemetery was selected as an official entry in the prestigious Worcestershire Film Festival and was applauded for being one of the most poetic and musically enriching films in the festival.

 

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Balancing the number of Rotten Tomatoes!

For those who think independent cinema is almost like inviting cannons firing rotten tomatoes, our sacks are full! We are dreamers and we dream about making people perceive art differently. We like forcing a different thought. Why?

How many films that you have watched helped you in expanding your thought, opinions or empathy for fellow human beings? Aren’t we compulsively happy about the kind of art that is sold in the name of entertainment in the present times? Well, it will be an understatement to say that Hollywood, Bollywood or our regional cinema fails to produce film that are equally thought-provoking. However, the acceptance of such works is yet to see the broad light of the day. Thus it’s better to consume rotten tomatoes than sponsor sugar-coated reviews on national dailies.

 

Independent filmmakers are often accused of making something that fails to generate enough buzz in the market. Very true! I don’t feel they have a reason to make a buzz out of a star controversy or a billion dollar pay check. We do it because we simply want to share a story – we take risks. We don’t owe anything to anyone other than the handful of audience we have.

 

The Cemetery is not made to capture sugar-coated reviews and attract Facebook likes. I would rather appeal for sincere and frank perception. I’ll have no regrets discussing the faults in the film and neither do I expect an ‘all-so-good’ review. I am more concerned about how viewers react to an emotionally dry scheme of visual sequences. I am concerned about how viewers feel about the open-ended climax and I am really looking forward to some real criticism from all those who have resolved to dedicate 20 precious minutes of your life.

 

Independent Cinema will not flaunt big banners but will knock your doors and urge you to think differently. As an indie filmmaker, I tried the same in my debut project. An attempt that might seem feeble to a few but I can promise that the passion for something indigenous will reflect in the entire work. Be it the narrative, the music, the locales or the acting, The Cemetery will be a different span of film-watching for any quintessential film lover!

 

Determination and passion will drive us forward, in the hope that a few more stories that lurk around our not so dramatic lives will find their destination someday! Expecting support and honest feedback… Join the Facebook event and watch The Cemetery as it releases online on June 1.

Chatushkone – resonating hope in the mute tunnel of recent Bengali cinema

To begin with, please don’t consider it as a review of the film. It is not even a critical analysis. You can read it as an expression of gratitude for the man who brought a spring of hope in the Bengali film industry and is doing wonders for the last five years. It is a humble attempt to assert the fact that Bengali films are still intellectually superior in a country where senseless films are celebrated as commercial cinema!

It is very different here in Bengal. We tend to celebrate art in various forms and when it comes to films we have a natural tendency of becoming a little more critical. After the golden era of the seventies, there was a lull in Bengali cinema. I was lucky enough to experience the rise of Bengali cinema during the earlier years of this millennium. I would definitely credit a few film makers who compelled the Bengali audience towards theatres. Rituporno Ghosh, Aparna Sen, Anjan Dutt, Kaushik Ganguly and definitely Srijit Mukherjee are the leading names in this context.

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The subject of this write-up happens to be the latest film by the last name in the aforementioned list, “Chatushkone”. The film is undoubtedly the biggest blockbuster in 2014 as far as Bengali cinema is concerned. It proved that the Bengali audience is still very particular about the art of cinema. It is not the mindless films (read commercial films) but intelligent and substantially superior films that attract audiences to cinema halls. Srijit’s films have been proving the point from his debut film to say the least! Autograph, Baishey Shrabon, Hemlock Society, Mishawr Roshshyo, Jaatishwar and then came Chatushkone.

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Being a film buff and a keen student of film making, I am a part of the stories that float around the industry for the last seven-eight years now. Chatushkone happens to be Srijit’s one of the oldest scripts that witnessed a number of adversities. If a film is perceived as the brain child of the film maker, perhaps this child of survived the most difficult conditions. Challenging the conditions like actor walk-outs to loss of inspiration (the sad demise of Rituparno), Chatushkone was perhaps the most adamant project of the director that turned out to be his best film till date. Analysis of the film is done in various scales and the success story has been written, discussed and celebrated through various means. I still wanted to point out some of the weak links of the film when I went to the theatre for the second time to watch the film. I considered taking notes! I couldn’t, I was converted to a keen audience.

chotuskone_goutam-ghoseThere are a number of films that are made with the concept of film within a film. Srijit challenged the form – he made a film with four films in it, treating them very uniquely. With different time lines, different colour codes, different taste and a very subtle approach all the four films had a statement of its own. The quadrilateral chemistry between the four directors illustrated in the film was entwined in a soothing yet a very compelling thriller story. The director has a unique signature in terms of his sarcastic and invigorating dialogue writing; Chatushkone was no different.

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The plate was full for the audiences to grab their desired tastes. The likes of Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Goutam Ghose, Aparna Sen and Chiranjit played the major characters along with wonderful cameos from Kaushik Ganguly, Barun Chanda, Neel Mukherjee, Indrashish Roy, Paayel Sarkar, Arpita Chaterjee and Koneenica Banerjee doing justice to the script. Chiranjit (Dipak Chakroborty) probably collected the most number of congratulatory messages for Chatushkone, his comeback film. As far as the music was concerned, the songs penned by Anupam Roy were lyrical and soothing as usual. Although, I personally feel that the film had two songs too many, given the genre or the subject of the film is concerned.  Editing, Cinematography, set design and the execution couldn’t have been better.

 

chotuskone_parambrataAs a concluding note, I would definitely like to congratulate Srijit Mukherjee for restoring the hope of audience in Bengal. Dear comrade, keep inspiring us with your efforts that can and will nullify the efforts of some shallow trade-analysts who define films on the basis of box-office collection! I wish him all the success for his future projects and hope his films cross international boundaries bringing more glories for Bengali cinema.

 

Signing off from the desk of mymotionpicture seeking light on the other end of the mute tunnel called, Bengali Cinema!

To all of you who made “The Cemetery” possible!

photo 2The first screening or rather a core team screening of the short film, “The Cemetery” was happily concluded at the residence of the veteran actor and my recent HERO, Mr. Barun Chanda today. A group of sublimely talented friends of mine who stood by my capricious dream in rain and thunder was there to watch the almost final version of the film. I would like to thank all those people who helped me in completing my maiden project, an experience that I will cherish for my entire life.

So, many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. Probably this short film had a similar run of events! But it would have been really impossible to complete this project unless I was blessed with these people around me. This small post is dedicated to all of you who made, “The Cemetery” inevitable!

 

IMG_0213Barun Chanda: This charismatic, forever young man needs no introduction I guess. From Ray’s Seemabaddha, to the recent successful saga of the Lootera, he was and still is one of the most compelling actors of serious Indian cinema! In this short film project “The Cemetery”, he not only acted in one of the pivotal roles but also became the guardian of the film! It might have been my dream but he protected the dream with all his experience and wisdom as an actor, advisor, and narrator and most importantly as my friend! I owe you this film Sir!

DSC_0117Tanusree Chakraborty: “The Cemetery” is a film typically based on a character called Carole, a Christian widow who seeks emancipation from her past life. I never thought she would readily agree to play Carole; she proved me wrong. She helped me with her precious time (probably the most valuable thing for her) and patience with a relatively young and inexperienced film maker like me! There were instances of difference in opinion and lack of facilities that disturbed the spirit. I take the responsibility and can vouch for a better setup next time. However, she enriched the film with a really professional performance and I hope the end result will certainly give her a reason to smile!

ApratimDAApratim Ghoshal: For some unknown reason we ended up doing a project together, I never thought we will. It would have been completely impossible for me to find the means to go ahead and complete this project until Mr. Ghoshal came to the rescue. He backed me up with the all important fund considering my urge to do something new or probably some unseen enterprise. I would like to thank him from the bottom of my heart for all his support and encouragement. Let’s hope we can work together on bigger and better projects in the near future.

AnirbanDAAnirban Maity: Editing was another tough hurdle that kept me anxious throughout my shooting days. Insufficient funds and stringent shooting conditions prevented me to get enough for my editor to chew upon! The story was twisted and turned a number of times while the shooting progressed and honestly, I was pretty confused with the time line and the final product! Anirban Da, amid all his anxious Argentine adrenaline managed to exploit his poetic mind and nimble fingers to bless “The Cemetery”. He did something that cannot be acknowledged with mere words!

IMG_0033Abhrajit Sen: My D.O.P. and my associate director. You truly served the role of an uncle to the baby, I am a father to; and by virtue of which you also become my brother! Bro, you rocked throughout the film. With those heated argument sessions and with all the hectic schedules you are the one along with Siladitya who kept the frames tight and close to my heart. I would love to work with you again. We can probably work upon the huge room for improvement that is still left to fill in. Let’s explore!

DSC_0164 Ronee Roy: I was awestruck with his guitar playing when I first jammed with him way back in 2012. He still manages to amaze and excite me with his mesmerizing fingers on that instrument. Probably, guitar is an instrument for all and at the same time not for all. He justifies it with the background scores of “The Cemetery”. I am really lucky to have you as my colleague and happier to have you as my friend. Hope we can work together in future keeping your music and interest as the priority, Ronee da. I hope you know what I mean!

IMG_1125In the journey there were a number of other friends, colleagues, well wishers and completely unknown people who supplemented the experience. The vote of thanks would be incomplete without mentioning the toiling efforts of Siladitya Dam, the assistant cinematographer, Aditya Shankar Roy, one who documented the project with some brilliant stills, Ankita Majumdar, my student and my assistant, Ayan Nath (synthesizer player), Sonali Khan (Graphics and Design), Chitralekha Bannerjee, Arunavo Gupta, Tittu Philip, Nitin Panchamia, Kajal Mondal and may be some of you whom I am forgetting right now.

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A special vote of thanks should go to Mr. Rana Basu Thakur of JLT who took a respite from his immensely busy schedule to come over and complement a day with his camera and lenses. Without you, the project wouldn’t have taken the shape it has today!

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IMG_0256Last but not the least; I would like to thank the Creative Director of “The Cemetery”and my companion, Shreya Goswami, who stood by me through thick and thin. Thanks for being there!

 

To fulfill a dream amidst financial crunch and hurdles that evolved on an hourly basis, what acted as my immunity was my belief in the dream that an independent film is still possible with limited resources. I know The Cemetery was not as perfect as I thought it would be, but I will still cherish the journey throughout my life.

THANK YOU EVERYONE!