The 38-year-old Bengali filmmaker, Vikram Aditya Sengupta who won many hearts and two national awards for his silent film Asha Jaoar Majhe (labour of love) is back with his latest. Once upon a time in Calcutta, Vikram's third feature film has landed itself a spot on the 78th Venice International Film Festival; the only Indian film to be screened at the festival beginning September this year.
While Labour of Love revolved around a lyrical unfolding of a couple's life, highlighting the cycle of work and domestic routine and long stretches of waiting for one another in an empty house; Once upon a time in Calcutta tells the story of a grieving mother, who feels lost after the death of her daughter. Sengupta's second film, Jonaki, revolved around a woman on her deathbed searching her memories for love and fulfilment. The film is shot by Turkish cinematographer, Gokhan Tiryaki and the music is composed by Dutch composer, Minco Eggersman.
Speaking on returning to the Venice film festival, he said, "Thrilled about returning to Venice Film Festival, the writer-director-editor Aditya Vikram Sengupta says, "Venice is a dream festival for any filmmaker and we are extremely grateful and excited to be back with a Bengali film about the city, especially on the 100-birth centenary of Satyajit Ray".
Talking about capturing Calcutta on screen, the director shares, "This film is a culmination of personal feelings and emotions for the city of Calcutta and its people. The film is my effort to chip away the various layers of the previously communist city to reveal a human condition that is tragic and yet full of hope and joy."
He further adds that he has tried to create a real glimpse into the murky waters of Calcutta, with colourful characters, all trying very hard to find a corner of their own without drowning.
The film is inspired by true events and will compete in Orizzonti (Horizons) segment at the international competition that represents the latest, aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema.
Once Upon A Time In Calcutta is a homage to the city he calls home is an international collaboration between India-France-Norway. He is currently developing his fourth film.