News Bengali

Avijatrik release postponed from 26 November to 3 December

According to producer Gaurang Jalan, theatres in West Bengal may function at 100% capacity from 1 December.

Roushni Sarkar

The release of Subhrajit Mitra’s upcoming film Avijatrik has been postponed from 26 November to 3 December. Producer Gaurang Jalan said the decision was taken as there is a possibility of the West Bengal government allowing theatres to operate at 100% capacity from 1 December.

Presently cinema halls in the state are being run at 70% occupancy.

Jalan also expects the existing night curfew in West Bengal to be lifted from the next month. “Due to the night curfew, the night showtimes get cancelled, which brings the exhibitors under pressure,” said Jalan.

Based on the last section of Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s novel Aparajito, Avijatrik takes off where Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar (1959) left off. Starring Arjun Chakraborty, the film is being co-produced by director-turned-producer Madhur Bhandarkar.

Speaking about his reasons for backing Avijatrik, Jalan said, “We were convinced that any film with good content needs to be made. As Satyajit Ray had acquired the rights of Bibhutibhushan’s works for his films in the early 1950s, we too went to the author’s grandson and acquired the rights to film the remaining part of the novel Aparajito." 

Jalan collaborated with Mitra for the first time for his documentary Flickering Angels in 2012. The latter then pitched the idea of Avijatrik to him in 2016. "We took quite a while to get convinced as we needed to be careful about a huge legacy. The film is our tribute to Satyajit Ray and his Apu Trilogy, its music director Pandit Ravi Shankar and Soumitra Chatterjee,” said the producer. According to him, the film was initially slated to be released in 2020, the birth centenary of Ravi Shankar, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

“However, it is the birth centenary of Ray and the first death anniversary of Soumitra Kaku. And I think this is the right time as the film was meant to be released this year," he said.

Avijatrik has been appreciated at many film festivals around the world, including the 24th Shanghai International Film Festival, the Caleidoscope Indian Film Festival of Boston, the 38th Miami International Film Festival, the Montreal Independent Film Festival and the Seattle Film Festival.

Overwhelmed at the reception, the producer said, “I remember the audience was seated even after the film got over. I asked one of them the reason and the person replied that he wanted to sit with the film for another five minutes to absorb the effect. That is our award.”

“I think people should be able to relate with the film as it is about simple joys. They will be able to reconnect with their roots and will be transported to the simplicity of the 1940s,” he added.

Avijatrik will be released nationwide in theatres on 10 December.