March 25, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Amar Maa (My Mother) is a 2010 short film directed by US based Bengali filmmaker Samir Banerjee with Rachana Shah, Don Castro, Pallavi Desai, Uttara Desai, Avik Sur in the cast. The film has made its way to different film festivals around the globe like Yes India Film Festival, New Zealand, Stepping Stone Film Festival, Bangalore, India, Bombay Elektrik Showcase, Mumbai, India and will be premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, 2011. The film is expecting an online release this year at Amazon or Dingora.com.
Amar Maa is the story of a Bengali woman Moumita Sen who after living with her mother in Kolkata for 27 years has come to New York to pursue her doctorate. She falls in love, gets engaged and is to be married to an American guy Mark. But Moumita is yet to break this news to her mother. She struggles to find an opportune moment, the right words to talk about her mother about this. She gets sick with thoughts. And when her mother finally learns about Mark, she disowns the daughter. However, Mark sees another side to the woman he loves.
Rachna Shah –Moumita
Don Castro – Mark
Pallavi Desai – The Mother
Uttara Desai – Moumita Jr.
Avik Sur – The Postman
Samir Banerjee – Director & Producer
Jennifer Joelle Kachler – Producer
Katsumi Funahashi – Cinematographer
Sujoy Banerjee – Assistant Director
Aakash Desai – 2nd Assistant Director
Katsumi Funahashi – Editor
Samir & Sujoy Banerjee – Assistant Editors
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – Story
Sherry Huang – Script Supervisor
David Sheppard – Sound Mixer
David Mesiha – Score
Exact Runtime: 00 hr: 22 min: 23 sec
Date of Completion: September 2010
Date of Release: 19th October 2010
Country of Production: USA
Country of Filming: USA
Production Budget: 6000 USD
Fund Source: Personal
Language: English / Bengali
About the director
Samir Banerjee has been writing since the age of thirteen, he started to showcase his talent at the age of sixteen by writing and directing two plays. “An American In Mumbai” & “Hijack”. Both were received very well by the audience, having most of them rolling in the aisles with laughter. After he came to Boston to continue his studies he discovered the American independent scene and how a small “handycam” could go a long way. He started with a few music video’s and some cricket video’s. In 2000 he decided to produce the short film “Junoon” directed by his younger brother Sujoy and his friend Siddharth. After circulating the video amongst friends and friends of friends he found a lot of people interested in working on small projects. He started SB Talkies Productions and went on to shoot another short film titled “Sophie” which took a whole year to complete but was worth it. Sophie was nominated at the New Jersey Film Festival and received a lot of accolades.
Samir then decided to pursue this seriously and went to the New York Film Academy to obtain a filmmaking diploma and mingle with like minded industry folks. He directed “The Waiting”, “Gift Of Sight”, made two documentaries, one about New York Taxi drivers and the other on a spiritual leader in Badlapur, India. The latter was aired on India’s national network “Doordarshan”. After that Samir decided to focus on his career and concentrate on establishing himself in the corporate world.
In May 2010 a delayed flight at Nashville Airport led Samir to start his latest venture, Amar Maa (My Mother), a Bengali short film adapted from a short story called “The Word Love” in the collection of short stories “Arranged Marriage” by renowned author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. He practically wrote the screenplay on the flight from Nashville to Newark and after that there was no looking back. He is currently busy promoting the film and taking them to various festivals; he then plans to take on a full feature in his home town Kolkata.
About the cinematographer
Katsumi was born and raised in Japan. He moved to the US in 1996 and graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Film Studies and Production. He has directed, written and edited several short films, including “Smile” and “Lost”. He recorded each of the live performances from the theater run of “Weekly Review” and transformed the raw footage into a slick-looking faux news musical. He is currently working as a cinematographer and editor at Pacific Street Films.
About lead actress
Rachna Shah is a talented Bollywood actress who has acted in a list of films. She can be seen in Ketan Mehta’s “Rang Rasiya” opposite Randeep Hooda. She is no stranger to the Cannes Film Festival as her film “The Last Monk” was showcased there in 2006. She has also done a variety of Indian regional cinema with both Bengali and Tamil movies to her name. In 2009 she played a very important character in the HBO production “My Bollywood Hero”.
About lead actor
Don Castro is a Philippine-born actor based in New York City. Film credits include: Lucia’s Automaton (Pusan International Film Festival/Seoul, Korea), Bohemibot (Festival de Cannes/Short Film Corner), In Space (Tribeca Film Festival), and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening. TV: Law & Order -Criminal Intent. Don has recently completed work on the 2012 feature film, Man on a Ledge, starring Sam Worthington.