Platform Cannes

Platform Cannes

He was in Spain to promote his film Frozen in 2007 when filmmaker Shivajee Chandrabhushan discovered that the traditional Flamenco dance form has its roots in Kathak.

He was in Spain to promote his film Frozen in 2007 when filmmaker Shivajee Chandrabhushan discovered that the traditional Flamenco dance form has its roots in Kathak. Further research revealed historical records that gypsies from north-western India journeyed to Spain,and that is perhaps how Flamenco evolved. Fascinated,Chandrabhushan developed the story spanning generations and continents where a Spanish girl heads out in search of her roots.

The film,The Untold Tale,has been selected by Cannes L’Atelier. This will facilitate the filmmaker’s interaction with potential financiers and distributors during the Cannes International Film Festival in May. “We are in the process of giving finishing touches to the script and have begun the pre-production,” says a delighted Chandrabhushan. The festival organisers have already helped the filmmaker find a French co-producer for this multi-lingual project.

The director,who received a National Award for his black-and-white movie Frozen in 2009,says the idea for the new film has been with him for five years now. “My co-writer Triparna Banerjee and I wrote 15 drafts before sending the script to Cannes. We are still tweaking it before the filming begins,” he adds. The Untold Tale is one of the 15 scripts selected for the Cannes L’Atelier section.

The story begins with a girl who realises that her grandmother was a Flamenco dancer who fell in love with an Indian man in the ’50s. Her search for her roots then takes her through France,Spain and India. The film will be shot in Bikaner,Barcelona and Roussillona,a small French town close to the Spanish border.


After Frozen’s release in 2008,not much was heard about Chandrabhushan. However,between this acclaimed film and The Untold Tale,he has wrapped up work on another film,Once More. This movie reiterates the filmmaker’s love for Ladakh as it explores the lives and travails of ice-hockey players from the region. “I love Ladakh and its people and feel a strong connection with them. I researched heavily on the subject,wrote a script and produced and shot chunks of the film in Ladakh,” he explains.

The remaining portions were shot in Russia and Dehradun,but only after he managed to get co-producer Abhishek Mishra. The film recently premiered at the Pan-Asia film festival in London,and Chandrabhushan is now hoping to get a theatrical release.

Finances for independent cinema,he accepts,are always a concern and the market is limited. But Chandrabhushan is not disillusioned. He feels that part of the problem is his decision to remain outside the system — that is Bollywood or casting stars in his films. “I have no knack for marketing and advertising and my films go unheard of mostly because I don’t publicise them,” he says.

Given the success of The Artist,a black-and-white silent film,does he feel that Frozen came before its time? “Maybe it ushered in that time. Frozen was apt for its time and did receive its due. It possibly has a bigger market today,given the globalisation,” he accepts. However,his cinema has a world audience. His films,which travel the festival circuit extensively,feature under the world cinema section. This,he says,helps him rope in the financiers.

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