Kolkata: West Bengal's finance minister Dr Amit Mitra is in Delhi today for a crucial and contentious meeting of the GST Council. But last Sunday, he was doing something very, very different in Kolkata. He was watching A Death In The Gunj, actor Konkona Sen Sharma's first film as director screened for a select audience. And then an emotional Amit Mitra waxing lyrical about the film. "It was poetry. I have known Konkona as a child and now she has given us a piece of art. I am so emotional I am choked up. It is simply beautiful, beautiful," Dr Mitra said. Konkona Sen Sharma's A Death In The Gunj released on Friday.
- Konkona won Best director at New York Indian Film Festival for the film
- The story is on Konkona's childhood memories of visiting McCluckskiegunj
- A Death In The Gunj released on Friday
"Oh, Kolkata is my home town and everyone is being kind to me," said the debutant director. "But the story was special, based on memories of visiting McCluckskiegunj with my father as a child," she added.
The film has already won awards. Best director at the New York Indian Film Festival and Best Indian Woman director at MAMI," she said and broke into a smile and added, "There I go blowing my own trumpet."
So, is Indian cinema about to lose an actor and gain a director? "Not at all. I love acting. I hope I get some good roles. I'm optimistic," she said.
Actor, filmmaker and mother Aparna Sen was at the special screening. "I am a very proud mother. Someone is at least carrying the baton forward."
So is A Death In The Gunj going to be a box office hit or a niche film?
Abhishek Choubey, director of Udta Punjab and producer, Gunj, is ready to fight the uphill battle.
"15 years ago, who would have thought something like Dangal would turn into a box office hit. Things are changing and it is up to the directors to fight for space, make good films and then hustle to get them a market." he says.
A Death In The Gunj has opened to five star reviews. And Lipstick under my Burkha is to release soon. For the director and the actor, fruitful times.