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IFFI 2021: A film about an ordinary man, says Manikbabur Megh team

Directed by Abhinandan Banerjee, the film was screened in the Feature category of the Indian Panorama at the 52nd IFFI in Goa.

Abhinandan Banerjee at the IFFI press conference. Photo: PIB

Our Correspondent

At a press conference for Manikbabur Megh, held at the ESG grounds in Panaji, Goa, during the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), director Abhinandan Banerjee described his film as a product of the side-effects of the pandemic.

Screened in the Feature category of the Indian Panorama section at the festival, Manikbabur Megh tells the story of a man who finds solidarity with a random piece of cloud that follows him through his days.

Banerjee said, "Loneliness is almost like a pandemic now; the origin of the idea came from the curse of loneliness upon us."

The director was joined by producer Monalisa Mukherji, cinematographer Anup Singh, sound designer Abhijit Tenny Roy and editor Abhro Banerjee at the event.

Director Banerjee said, "This film has been developed from an idea of my own experience of life and what I have experienced so far. In short, it can be called a modern-day fairytale for adults. In this day and age of connectivity, social media, internet, and chaos of human society, we are straying away from the core of our existence which is natural and which is ourselves as well.”

DIrector Banerjee explained that the film tells the story of a socially unfit man trying to fit into society, where the cloud provides solace and becomes a companion of sorts.

Producer Monalisa Mukherji revealed that Manikbabur Megh is the story of a 'loser', not a hero. "People generally make or fund films about heroes," she said. "Our film is about an ordinary man, a loser. It’s important to tell those stories as well. In literature, you have read about love stories, but this film shows a unique love, where a cloud falls in love with a man.”

The surrealism is not limited to the plot and screenplay, as sound designer Tenny Roy revealed, "Mostly films that don’t have dialogues are considered silent films. But it’s not quite so. We almost never experience silence. This is a film which is very experimental; it’s not verbose, you don’t have many dialogues on screen, so the viewers experience a lot of the things that Manik-babu hears, at times selectively; he experiences nature and its emotions in a certain way. We have tried to give an essence of that to you through the sound of this film. I think the viewers will get to see a lot from Manik-babu’s journey after watching this film.”

The film was premiered at the Tallinn Nights Film Festival earlier this month before having its screening in Goa last week.

Speaking of the rise of regional cinema in recent years, Abhinandan Banerjee said, "It’s not like regional cinema does not have an audience. People are not accepting world cinema. Ultimately, regional cinema is world cinema as the common language is cinema.

"We are trying to use the basic grammar and nuances of cinema to create the art form, it is a collage of different mediums coming together. There are audiences who will wait for these kind of films where there is a craving to see the grammar on screen.”

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