By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai, Oct 23 (IANS) National Award-winning actress and filmmaker Konkona Sen Sharma says she loves to watch and share films at film festivals because she feels the audience comprises pure movielovers and she belongs to that “moviewatching” community.
Konkona was present at Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star, where Seema Pahwa’s directorial debut “Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi”, which features her, was screened.
“I have been attending MAMI from even before I shifted base to Mumbai. I was so young then, I would come here with friends, sit in a bus and run around to watch films from one venue to another. I love film festivals because I feel that I belong to the film-watching community. These people, standing in long queues and watching films one after another, are the true filmlovers,” Konkona told IANS:
She added: “They do not care about box-office numbers and other commercial aspects. What matters to them is the story and other creative aspects of a film. So whenever I attend any film festival, I feel the vibe of a community that loves film for film. That is how even I started loving films. I just hope that the youngsters are getting the opportunity to watch world cinema through the film festival,” said the actress.
Konkona apart, “Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi”, features Naseeruddin Shah, Vinay Pathak, Supriya Pathak and Vineet Kumar.
The film screened at Jio MAMI under the Spotlight section, and the cast and crew got a chance to watch it along with the audience. Konkona said the audience made the film special.
“I watched the film with the audience for the first time and it was so exciting to see their reaction. They laughed and sniffed, reacting to specific scenes and it was fun. Also this is an audience of true filmlover. They are here to watch the film because they are movie buffs,” said Konkona.
Sharing her experience of working with veteran actress-turned-director Pahwa, Konkona said: “Seema ji is a brilliant and experienced storyteller, so all the actors felt we are in good hands. The film has all the great actors of the business, and I was initially intimidated. I wanted to run away seeing such brilliant talents! But then Ma (her mother is the iconic actress-filmmaker Aparna Sen) said that you cannot just stick to your comfort zone. You have to push yourself to grow as a performer. So, I finally started shooting and that tension got eased.”
“I have always carry some nervous energy at the beginning of my projects, whether it has been a new film or my directorial debut,” shared the actress who has appeared in films such as “Mr and Mrs Iyer”, “Page 3”, “Omkara”, “Luck By Chance”, and “Wake Up Sid”.
Konkona recently travelled to Busan International Film Festival with Alankrita Shrivastava’s upcoming film “Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare”, and has lately also worked with celebrated female filmmakers such as Meghna Gulzar, Alankrita Shrivastava, and Tanuja Chandra in films such as “Talvar”, “Lipstick Under My Burkha”, and “A Monsoon Date” respectively.
“Over the last few years, I have only been working with female filmmakers and I can say that is a positive change. When we went to Busan and the screening of ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare’ took place, we were quite surprised to see how the Korean audience was relating to a story that is set in India. During the interactive session, they were also asking pointed questions and that made us understand that the audience was feeling connected with the story.”
“I think there is a commonality among women worldwide. Whether they are rich or poor, married or unmarried, or they come from a rich country, the lives of women are all the same. They have a common thread, something that is relatable. I believe our film got appreciation at film festivals because of that,” said the actress.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at [email protected])