Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s Once Upon A Time In Calcutta will be screened at the 78th Venice International Film Festival as part of Orizzonti (Horizons), an international competition section dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema. The film, which features Sreelekha Mitra, Bratya Basu and others, was shot in Kolkata in 2019. This is Aditya’s third feature and the second one to compete in the festival after Asha Jawar Majhe (Labor of Love) in 2014.
“A Bengali film entering such a festival is a proud moment for all of us. I think Buddhadebkaku’s (Dasgupta) Uttara was the last one to compete in this section and that was more than two decades ago. Additionally, this year marks Satyajit Ray’s birth centenary and it feels great to be able to see a Bengali film at the festival,” Aditya said.
Inspired by true events, Aditya pays homage to Kolkata in the film, which follows the life of a bereaved mother trying to desperately find a new identity, love and independence, but soon realizes that she is not the only scavenger in a city brimming with hunger. The film is shot by Palme d’Or winner, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s cinematographer, Gokhan Tiryaki, and music is composed by Dutch composer, Minco Eggersman.
Sreelekha too was on cloud nine. “I’m speechless. I went through a lot in this industry and with this film, all my struggles get vindicated. Working with Aditya was by far the best experience I had,” she told us.
The 78th Venice International Film Festival will begin on September 1 and will go on till September 11.