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Lubdhak Chatterjee’s short film Aahuti selected for the International Film Festival Rotterdam 

The silent short film explores the concept of Panchabhuta, or the five elements, and follows the filmmaker's engagement with forms of artistic expression.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

Lubdhak Chatterjee’s latest short film Aahuti has been selected for the prestigious Rotterdam Film Festival for next year. Produced by Shaji Mathew/NIV Art Movies, the silent film will be screened as part of the Perspectives section.

The film explores the concept of Panchabhuta – the five elements – that is central to Indian speculative thought. A group of people, in a fictional space and time, perform a ritual to evoke the essence of these fundamental elements of existence. Mudras (hand gestures) become the vehicle in the act of offering whereas naad (sound) becomes pivotal in the exploration of life and beyond. 

His previous film, Vaikhari (2018), explored similar concepts as it followed a dancer’s journey as she choreographs for Meghdootam. The stages of artistic contemplation are observed with special emphasis on theoretical and practical aspects of padhant involved in conversion of the essence of literary stanzas into their rhythmic analogues.

Commenting on the selection of Aahuti, Chatterjee told Cinestaan.com, "I have always been fascinated by indigenous art forms. While making my last non-fiction film Vaikhari, I got the opportunity to explore similar themes which allude to not only the foundations of the artistic expressions, but also to the very basis of existence, thereby also forming the connecting link between the cosmic and the mundane."

"Thematically speaking, the concept of life cycle and evolution has been an area of intrigue which also brings forward the notion of time. Sound has always been a guiding force in my thoughts, it channelizes my vision and becomes the seed of exploration. Rotterdam is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, always promoting fearless voices and indeed, it is a great opportunity to present the film there," he added.

The 49th edition will be held from 22 January to 2 February 2020.

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