The Bengali filmmaker’s previous three films, The Wife’s Letter, White, and Cactus, were also screened at Cannes.
Aneek Chaudhuri’s Malayalam film Katti Nrittam heads to Cannes film market
Mumbai - 30 May 2020 16:59 IST
Filmmaker Aneek Chaudhuri’s Malayalam film Katti Nrittam (2020) will be a part of the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film, the film market which will be held online this year due to the restrictions imposed to curb the global COVID-19 pandemic. Marché du Film will be held virtually from 22 to 26 June. The Bengali filmmaker’s previous three films, The Wife’s Letter, White, and Cactus, were also screened at Cannes.
Katti Nrittam, meaning Knife Dance, is a modern-day adaptation of the Mahabharata. The thriller also has a part based on a short story by O Henry. Largely shot in Kolkata, West Bengal, the Malayalam film follows an unsuccessful Kathakali dancer who goes on a killing spree. The feature also contains “a complex tale of a love quadrilateral”, said a press release from the producers.
The film stars Rahul Sreenivasan, Rukmini Sircar, Sabuj Bardhhan, Anuska Chakraborty and Aritra Sengupta.
Speaking about his shift to directing in Malayalam, Chaudhuri said, “Malayalam films of this age have left a tremendous impact on me. Or you can also say that it is far ahead of contemporary Bengali cinema. Moreover, after 2011, cinema in Kerala has taken a deviated turn for the better.”
He added, “Malayali traditions are something I have always looked forward to. People do find a lot of similarities between the two [Bengali and Malayali traditions], but I think Malayalis are more grounded and less pretentious. My last visit to Kalamandalam back in 2018 inspired me to write a story revolving around Kathakali dancers; eventually, I decided to turn it into a film.
“I always look forward to Cannes every year; however, this year, it does not hold the same charm with the COVID issue hovering around,” Chaudhuri said. “But, even virtually as proposed, we are going to have a lot of important networking, producers’ meets, and that is all Cannes is about. This is a good opportunity for the team to explore a lot of opportunities as Cannes opens up to a vast area of global networking. Often, it takes your breath away.”
The filmmaker was also keen to represent Indian cinema, even virtually, at the Cannes film market this year. “However, this time it is a bit different for me in terms of vernacular as well. I am representing Malayalam cinema, and am proud to represent any part of Indian cinema, as long as I am alive. We are so looking forward to it," he said.
Katti Nrittam is due to be released in theatres later this year after appearing in film festivals around the world.