Indian filmmaker Bauddhayan Mukherji chosen for L’Atelier programme

Bauddhayan Mukherji. File

Bauddhayan Mukherji. File   | Photo Credit: S. Gopakumar

The director of the upcoming film 'Marichjhapi' will receive support from the prestigious programme at the Cannes Film Festival

Indian filmmaker Bauddhayan Mukherji has made it to the list of 16 directors chosen for Cinefondation’s prestigious L’Atelier programme at the Cannes Film Festival this year. The festival will be held from May 12 to 23 and the L’Atelier programme runs from May 14-21. Mr. Mukherji heads to the French Riviera with his upcoming project Marichjhapi.

Now in its 16th year, the programme brings together filmmakers with promising projects, along with their producers, and industry professionals, producers, distributors and potential partners, in Cannes. The idea is to provide access to the international co-productions circuit, and opportunities for international financing and investment for the speedy completion of films.

Mr. Mukherji is an advertisement and feature film director based in Mumbai. His filmography includes Bengali film Teenkahon (‘Three obsessions’) and the Hindi film The Violin Player. Both these films were self-produced under Little Lamb Films, a boutique production house he runs with poet and filmmaker Monalisa, who also happens to be his wife.

‘A new feeling’

Marichjhapi, written by Mr. Mukherji and Abhinandan Banerjee, is the first film that they found too big and ambitious to self-finance and have gone out and sought co-producers for. “It’s a new feeling. Till now, we haven’t been answerable to anyone,” said Mr. Mukherji. The Atlanta-based American production house, Splendid Films, is already on board and Mr. Mukherji hopes that L’Atelier will help start “European conversations” and for the project go a “little more international”.

Marichjhapi was one of the new projects introduced at the Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Project Market in October 2019. It was then that actor Adil Hussain also came on board. Set in the Marichjhapi in the Sunderbans in January 1979, it is based on real incidents of atrocities and violence heaped on refugees to the island. If all falls into place, Mr. Mukherji intends shooting in January-February 2021. According to him, the film can’t be shot any time before that. “Sunderbans in winters is very different from how it is in summers,” he explained.

Next generation

Cinefondation was created under the aegis of the Cannes Film Festival to inspire and support the next generation of international filmmakers. Its L’Atelier programme started in 2005 to stimulate creative filmmaking and to encourage the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers. So far, out of 233 projects, 171 have been released in theatres and 14 are currently in pre-production. This year, including Marichjhapi from India, there will be 15 projects representing 15 countries — China, Columbia, Egypt, Greece, India, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Romania, United Kingdom, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey and Yemen.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 3:57:51 PM |

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