Filmmaker Bikas Ranjan Mishra’s tale of caste oppression in India’s hinterland coupled with a story of childhood love has won favour among critics at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. (IFFLA). Mishra’s debut feature film titled Chauranga (Four Colours) received the Best Feature (Grand Jury) award at the recently concluded festival in LA. “The film draws from my experience of growing up in Jharkhand and seeing how my village elders treated people from low castes. It is a personal project and to see it getting accolades means a lot,” says Mishra, whose film is in Hindi and Khortha, a dialect spoken in some parts of Jharkhand.
The film, starring actors Arpita Chatterjee, Soham Maitra, Sanjay Suri and Tannishtha Chatterjee among others, is the story of a boy from a low caste community who falls in love with an upper caste girl from his village. This sets in motion a chain of events for the boy and his family. Chauranga was the winner of the Best Indian Film at last year’s Mumbai Film Festival and got the Best Project award at the Film Bazaar in Goa in 2011.
Mishra had earlier made the short fiction film Naach Ganesha (Dance of Ganesha) in 2012. “I am aiming for a cinematic release later this year. I have applied for a U/A certification for Chauranga already and hope to get a clearance by next month,” adds the 35-year-old filmmaker from Mumbai. The film will be shown at the New York Indian Film Festival (May 4-9) next month.