India’s Venice winner for films reveals production list

For Films, the producer of Labor of Love, which won Best Debut for Director Aditya Vikram Sengupta at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, has come up with a solid list.

Other films from the company include the Rotterdam selection Jonaki (2018) and the Venice selection Once Upon a Time in Calcutta (2021), both directed by Sengupta.

For Films is now actively developing three different types of projects, set in very different worlds. It has also expanded from Bengali language films into Hindi and English to reach the widest possible audience.

One of the projects, working title Death of an Elephant, is a Hindi historical play based on a short story by renowned Bengali author Tarasankhar Bandopadhyay and directed by Sengupta. The film is set in North India and requires a star cast. Discussions with the cast are ongoing. Several of Bandopadhyay’s works have been filmed, including Satyajit Ray’s The Music Room (1958).

Another Hindi project, also directed by Sengupta, is about his personal relationship with magic growing up in Kolkata in the 1980s and 90s when the city was celebrated as the magical capital of India. The film, titled Mandrake, plays with the advent of the digital revolution against a backdrop of globalization and the slow death of simpler ways.

The team is also developing several feature films, series and documentaries. One of them is an untitled documentary that examines Bollywood and its long-lasting influence through a sociocultural lens, with Sengupta serving as creative producer.

“The Death of an Elephant” is a story that has stuck with me for years. I kept coming back to it between other projects,” says Sengupta diversity. “It’s a story I’ve always wanted to adapt and it explores the passage of time – something I’ve explored in all my films, starting with ‘Labour of Love’. On the other hand, Mandrake is a very personal film. The core of the film is almost autobiographical, even if it is far removed from the context and the life I live today. It is self-reflective and my observation of how life has changed in my life. Magical realism has been used in all of my films, but this film is about magic directly.”

For Films was scheduled to begin production on its next project in development, Birthmark, which was part of the HAF Hong Kong Film Financing Forum and the Venice Gap Financing Forum. But the project has now been put on hold just a few months before the start of production.

“It’s heartbreaking that we had to put ‘Mirthmark’ on hold. We have spent years researching the project and our international co-producers are heartbroken about the decision as well. But the decision was based on many unavoidable factors based on the world we live in,” said Priyankar Patra, producer at For Films diversity. “Nevertheless, I am already looking forward to the future of our company. We decided to put all our focus and energy on different types of projects at the same time. Our background is rooted in the artistic independent film world, but with the upcoming films we’re looking to integrate that knowledge with a mainstream setup and reach a much broader audience.”

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https://variety.com/2022/film/asia/for-films-production-slate-1235232551/ India’s Venice winner for films reveals production list

Charles Jones

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