Tollywood director Pritha Chakraborty debuts with Mukherjee Dar Bou

Debutante director Pritha Chakraborty's movie Mukherjee Dar Bou releases this Women's Day and promises to connect with women of every age
Filmmaker Pritha Chakraborty
Filmmaker Pritha Chakraborty

The journey from her hometown Ranaghat to Kolkata has been pretty exciting and enriching for 31-year-old filmmaker, Pritha Chakraborty. The small town girl, who took up editing at Satyajit Ray Film Institute after completing Mass Communication from Xavier’s is all set to debut as a director on the big screen, with her film Mukherjee Dar Bou. The film, which will release today on Women’s Day, is a mother and daughter-in law relationship story.

Dealing with stories on relationships comes naturally to this petite storyteller. “Human emotions and their many layers have always intrigued me. There are deep rooted reasons behind any human reaction and it’s all about perspective,” tells Pritha, whose first tryst with then camera took place when she made the documentary film, Silent Voices in 2015. The film, which premiered at the Hot Doc festival in Canada, was shown around the globe at many festivals including Sheffield Doc Fest UK and New York Film Fest.

<em>Koneenica Banerjee in Pritha Chakraborty's Mukherjee Dar Bou</em>
Koneenica Banerjee in Pritha Chakraborty's Mukherjee Dar Bou

“The subject of the film revolved around housewives and how their identities were lost in translation. I travelled far and wide with this film and it was a huge encouragement for me to be appreciated by audiences in the West, who came up to me after the shows and told me how they, too, could relate to it,” remembers Pritha.

Since then, she has made a few corporate films and directed TV commercials. In 2017, she made a short film for YouTube called, Mayera Mithye Kotha Bole, (Mothers Lie) on Mother’s Day, which deals with the ever-sacrificing and caring nature of mothers. Starring popular comic actor and RJ Mir Afsar Ali, the short film went viral on YouTube. “We shot the entire film in six hours flat, and had no budget for promotion. But still it connected with the viewers organically,” recalls the soft spoken director, who, buoyed by the response, went on to make another short on Father’s Day called Babara Thake Ei Bhabe Nishshobde.

<em>Filmmaker Pritha Chakraborty</em>
Filmmaker Pritha Chakraborty

She caught the attention of filmmaker Shiboprosad Mukerjee with the latter film, who offered her a chance to work under his production banner. “It still seems surreal. It was a huge thing for me,” says Pritha, whose friends jokingly call her the ‘Day’ specialist, given that “Two of my shorts released on Father’s Day and Mother’s Day and my first feature is releasing on Women’s day,” Pritha explains.

Starring Anasua Majumdar, Koneenica Banerjee and Biswanath Basu, Mukherjee Dar Bou reveals how mundane issues become contending points between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law -- and how, when things go out of bounds, they seek help from a psychologist, played by Rituparna Sengupta. “It’s a journey of self discovery and how eventually, the fighting women bond with each other. It’s a film for women, by women and so, we decided to release it on Women’s Day,” elaborates Pritha.

So, what’s the definition of feminism for her? “For me, feminism is ensuring that my voice reaches to people and that I have equal intellectual rights and opportunities,” avers Pritha, who is a great fan of Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

Mukherjee Dar Bou release today.

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