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Konttho inspired by laryngeal cancer survivor Bibhuti Chakraborty

The late Chakraborty did not surrender to his fate, but developed an alternative way of speaking using his food pipe instead of vocal chords.

Roushni Sarkar

Actresses Paoli Dam, Jaya Ahsan and Koel Mitra will feature in Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy’s second film of this year, Konttho. Mukherjee will also appear as a radio jockey, the protagonist, in the film.

Konttho is inspired by the life of the late Bibhuti Chakraborty, a survivor of laryngeal cancer. He had his affected organs, that also help in speaking, taken out in a surgery. However, he did not surrender to his fate; he developed an alternative way of speaking by using his food pipe instead of vocal chords.

“Bibhutida, after recovering from the disease, took up the task of offering speech therapy classes to patients, thus giving them a new ray of hope. He motivated hundreds to speak after a critical laryngeal surgery," said Mukherjee.

"Back in 1999, I was working with a private television channel. He shared his life’s journey in a segment, Aloye Phera, which was part of a non-fiction programme. The show was extremely inspiring and a hit with viewers. It was then that we decided to make a film on it, so thousands of others could draw inspiration from his story. The film also draws inspiration from survivors,” added Mukherjee.

Jaya Ahsan will essay the role of the speech therapist who plays an important part in assessing and treating a wide range of speech, swallowing and communication difficulties of the RJ, who loses his voice in the same deadly disease in the film.

Dam, on the other hand, will play the RJ’s love interest. Excited to work with the team, the actress said, “Now that I'm working with the team, I know why their films are always a hit! I haven’t come across such a sorted film unit before. I play Pritha and it's an elaborate character. Our first location was a hospital, but everything was in place and there were no loose ends. I believe there is a lot to learn from the director duo.”

The shooting for the film began on 17 March. Konttho will reportedly be released later this year.

Update, 5 April 2019: The film's title was spelt Kontho in the earlier version of this report.