Writer-director Partho Sen-Gupta’s second feature film titled Arunoday,has been officially selected for the New Currents International Competition section at the 19th Busan International Film Festival to be held from October 5. It is one of the twelve films selected. Titled Arunoday – Sunrise , the film is a psychological drama about Joshi, a police inspector from Mumbai who is in search of his six-year-old daughter ever since she disappeared from outside her school over ten years ago.
Sen-Gupta, who spoke from Australia, said that he had originally written the film in the Mumbai lingo of a mix of Hindi-Marathi. However, since NFDC only funds regional films, they wanted him to make it in Bengali. Being a Mumbaikar from Dadar, Sen-Gupta states he is more close to the Maharashtrian culture than to his own native (Bengali) culture. “I preferred to shoot it in Marathi then in Bengali which I can’t read or write.”
The thought of making a film on this topic arose when he looked at his new-born daughter and wondered what if any untoward incident happened to her. He looked up stories of kids being kidnapped and what happens to their parents in such circumstances.
Actor Adil Hussain of Life of Pi, English Vinglish fame, plays the role of Joshi and Tannishtha Chatterjee plays his wife. For the first time, veteran actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar will be seen in a negative role, that of the brothel madam. Also in the cast are young actors Isha Amlani, Chinmay Kambli and Gulnaaz Ansari along with a host of Marathi stage and television actors in supporting roles.
Arunoday is the first Marathi language film to be co-produced by Mumbai-based Independent Movies, National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and Paris-based Dolce Vita Films. Entirely shot in Mumbai with a mixed crew of Indian and French technicians, the film has camerawork by Jean-Marc Ferriere, editing by Annick Raoul, dialogue by Yogesh Vinayak Joshi.
Partho Sen-Gupta along with Adil Hussain, producer Rakesh Mehra and French producer Marc Irmer will attend the world premiere in Busan, South Korea in the first week of October.
As for his chances at the festival, Sen-Gupta, who had earlier made Hawa Aane Dey that premiered at the 2004 Berlin International film festival says he is hoping for the best.