In pitching and mentored sessions coinciding with the 74th Cannes Film Festival, six under-production documentary and a feature-length fiction from South Asia seek to achieve production and distributions advances.
The debut character of the Mumbai-born Suman Sen, Kolkata-born is Eka (Solo). He is a young director mentoring programme sponsored by the Institut Francais at La Fabrique Cinema.
“We are only a draught from the shooting now. The pandemic situation allows us to film in the middle of 2022 “Sen said that for 15 years, Sen has been in the advertising sector.
“The movie represents a time of hatred, intolerance and violence I’ve lived in for a number of years now” Sen said. ‘Eka’ is about to be formally presented in Kolkata on a grand statue of ‘the common man.’
The economic, political, and cultural failings in the city come from a diabetic insurance agent, a man on the verge of superannuation. He stood in front of the mammoth statue in order to register his protest.
His distrust sparks a movement around the world. Sen told the man, who moved to India’s financial capital 5 years ago, ‘I’m having a love-hate relationship to Kolkata.
“I wanted to move away from the city in which I grew up and look objectively. The move to Mumbai gave me a new lens to see the Calcutta “, he added, he added that.
‘Eka,’ one of ten projects in La Fabrique Cinema, is a French-Indo-Bangladeshi venture, backed by Arifur Rahman of Goopy Bagha Productions.
Another selection of South Asian film makers from La Fabrique is the award winning documentary “Kabul Melody” by Afghan filmmaker Sahra Mani, around two teenagers facing familiar opposition and threats from Taliban who follow up their passion for music.
Mani, who applauded widely ‘A Thousand Girls Like Me’ (2018), said, “To be a moviemaker means to be a social activist in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, I want to show the emergence of free will between the Kabul Melody.
The Docs-in-Progress awards for Cannes Docs 2021 are presented to a quartet of south asian documentaries – each from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal.
The International Film Initiative of Bangladesh presents these projects at an advanced stage of production. Among the four are ‘Thirteen Traveler Destinations,’ a movie by Partha Das from Kolkata.
It connects two journeys: one by thousands of soufi pilgrims marching through thousands and days in search of happiness and proclaiming their love for humanity; and the other by a disabled and marginalised Muslim fighting for physical hindrance and social prejudice.
The first documentary feature, ‘Thirteen Destinations of a Traveler,’ has been jointly made by Mokhalesur Rahman Talukdar, from Bangladesh, and Soumya Mukhopadhyay from India.
The other three South Asian films in Cannes Docs 2021 are Hezbullah Sultani’s ‘Birds Street,’ about a narrow road lined with birds-selling shops in Kabul;’ ‘Munni’ by Tahrima Khan, who shows the works of a former child marriage victim who launches an all-girls sports school in Bangladesh.
One of the five projects in HAF Goes to Cannes is a Nepalese documentary: Rajan Kathet and “No Winter Festival” by Sunir Pandey.
The Asian Film Financing Forum (HAF) in Hong Kong provides a new generation of filmmakers with access to financing, co-production deals and worldwide marketing support.
“Once married to the same man, two women in their seventies have to forget the past and work together to look after a vacant snowblown village during the winter,” reads the logline for the Nepal-South Korean Co-production. ‘No Winter holidays.