Pritha Chakraborty is a Kolkata based Film-maker.She was in Kozhikode to attend 2nd edition of Women’s International Film Festival of Kerala.Her debut feature movie is Mukherjee Dar Bau (MDB).It has gained huge critical and commercial success in Bengali Film Industry.
In the open forum ,after the screening of MDB at Kozhikode Tgaore Hall,Pritha got huge applause from the auidence.
In a conversation with M.Rajesh,Founder and News Director of CNM, she narrates her story as a film maker and shares her views on new trends in visual story telling.
When did you identify a film maker in you?
Pritha Chakraborty: Im brought up in a small town of Bengal, Ranaghat. While growing up I had almost no access to world cinema and cinema has never been a conscious part of my growing up days. But I remember the first day of my college in Xavier’s, I watched bicycle thieves, never thought cinema can be this powerful as a medium which enables one to shift in that world to discover new perspective. I don’t remember any particular moment when I thought of becoming a filmmaker, but this was definitely a moment when I became aware of the power of this medium.
How did you take the decision to become a director?
Pritha Chakraborty: Film editing is what I have studied in film institute. In editing one learn to tell the story understanding Director’s pov. So that is what I have always enjoyed doing. So this developed a kind of not only technical but also aesthetical understanding of story telling and also brings a sense of rythm in cinematic time and space. So while executing vision of other directors, I started developing my own voice of story telling, hence direction was organically the next step for me.
Pritha Chakraborty:Photos Sathi RV
What is your experience as a woman movie maker on the set ?
Pritha Chakraborty: The number of women directors we have in industry confirm it further that gender equation is still not in place. Though after success of first film, people have started taking me little more seriously. There have been days when someone from production has asked my male cinematographer about the next shot ignoring the fact that I was assigned as director on that particular project. These stories are not uncommon. But we as a woman need to overcome these and need to tell so powerful stories that ignoring our presence won’t be possible only.
Do you want to move independently in movie making ?
Pritha Chakraborty: I feel with time the gap between art house and commercial films are getting narrower. This is a very interesting time where lots of good contents are coming up and having wider success too. I want to be part of that narrative. If I’m making a film about certain people’s life and want to create a ripple through my film, I would like to reach out to them. I don’t want to be limited within a certain viewers.
You began with documentaries.You have made a feature film Mukherjee Dar Bau.What will be your next plan?
Pritha Chakraborty: I’m planning for my next feature now, which will be an interesting take on marriage and relationship. The script is progressing. Will be going to floor shortly.
What were the challenges you faced during your entry in the film direction?
Pritha Chakraborty: I have never assisted anyone, so MDB set was the first feature film set for me. The biggest challenge was I had to finish the shoot within 16 days and it was tough schedule
Thanks to each and every cast and crew members, without their unconditional support and my producers trust on me, it would never have been possible.
Mukherjee Dar Bau celebrates the liberation of womenhood.Do you want to make more movies on women’s empowerment ?
Pritha Chakraborty: Yes of course, but I don’t think it will be a conscious thought process to decide my content. I have always believed that one should make a film when one strongly feel to say something. So it depends what disturbs or moves me the most to decide the content I would like to bring up.
Do you believe in branding such as feminist director ?
Pritha Chakraborty: (Laughs) …I think I’m already branded as one. For me, feminism is about having equal intellectual opportunity/rights. I would keep on asking for it until this negotiation will no more be valid. It’s a long way. Till then I don’t mind being branded as a feminist director.