Mumbai, April 7 (Calcutta Tube) A film on Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s life is to be made soon. In the year of the poet’s 150th birth anniversary, director Sangeeta Datta plans to capture the bard’s literary excellence on camera.
‘The project that I am getting inspired to start work on is something on Rabindranath Tagore’s life,’ said Datta, whose directorial debut ‘Life Goes On‘ was released in India March 25.
‘I think it’s too early to talk about it. It would be on a small section of his life, on the years he spent in England and it can span out to be a bit larger,’ Datta told IANS in an interview.
‘Life Goes On’ is the first film in which veteran actress Sharmila Tagore worked with her daughter Soha Ali Khan.
The film made an extensive round of festivals in India and across the world. Due to some contractual compulsion, she had to release it in India after opening it in the US and Britain, said Datta.
‘We had a long festival circuit, you know. We were travelling almost the whole of last year. In December, it was released in the US and in mid-march it was released in Britain.
‘That was the plan anyway: to show it first abroad and then to bring it to India. The condition of the producer and distributor abroad is that you cannot open the film in India first,’ said Datta.
The story, script and screenplay are by Datta. The film details the prejudices and Islam-phobia still deeprooted among certain sections of immigrant Indians in London. It is a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’, but it has a hopeful ending.
Apart from Sharmila Tagore and Soha, actor Girish Karnad, Om Puri, Rez Kempton, Neerja Naik, Mukulika Banerjee, Christopher Hatherall, Stef Patten and Aria Gitanjali Banerjee Watts played pivotal roles in the film.
Elated by the rave response from the festival, the director said that the film has bagged the best feature film awards in the Pravasi Film Festival in Delhi and the London Asian Film Festival.
‘Festival responses have been very good. The audience across the world has responded very positively, be it in India or abroad. The Pravasi Film Festival jury gave us the award of best feature film. In the London Asian Film Festival, we won the audience award for best feature,’ said Datta.
The film opened only in the metros and the A-cities of the country. ‘At the moment we are opening in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.’
Talking about her other forthcoming project, she said: ‘One project I have already written is also about an Indian musician, who stays abroad and then due to some reasons she makes her journey back to India. It’s a woman’s story, it’s a struggle story. It needs more funds to make the film; so I would be meeting producers for that.’
She is yet to speak to any producer for either of her projects.
‘I was planning in my head but haven’t gone out to speak about it to the producers as I told you that ‘Life Goes On’ is a tiny budget project and I am travelling with it in the festivals. It takes so many weeks of preparation to release it in Britain that I got stuck. But I am hoping to start off very soon,’ said Datta.
(Dibyojyoti Baksi can be contacted at email@example.com)