Young filmmaker Chandradeep Das is ready with his first full-length international film
Following the footsteps of his late father, the National award-winning filmmaker Anjan Das, 30-year-old Chandradeep Das too believes in creating poetry in motion. His first short film, Ek Poshla Rupkatha, starring Sreelekha Mukherjee, was all about that and more, receiving awards at various film festivals across the globe including Monaco International Film Festival and Nevada International Film Festival.
His second film, The Red Cap, also has all the lyrical ingredients depicting hard-hitting realities of life like rape, depression and coming to terms with oneself. This movie too is still travelling to various festivals including Oaxaca FilmFest 2019 and was awarded for best screenplay at the Monaco Film Festival earlier this year, in February. It also has the distinction of winning the Remi Award for best dramatic shorts original at the WorldfestHouston International Film Festival.
The Red Cap was released on May 7 and Ek Poshla Rupkatha will release on May 9, on MovieSaints, a platform promoting different releases by both upcoming and established filmmakers. But that’s not all. This young filmmaker, who persevered for years with his Viking period film project, has finally managed most of the funding for a full-length English movie, and he has also finalised a part of the cast comprising a few international names. We had a short chat with the budding director on his films and more. Excerpts:
How does it feel to get international recognition?
I have never bothered about awards since it is not the only determinant of quality of films. Awards do, to an extent, boost the spirit of the maker, and I am further motivated to better myself.
The Bengali film industrt hasn't been particularly receptive to you or your ideas despite your father having been a part of it. Did it feel bad initially?
Not really, I always knew that this industry is like this and so, from the very beginning, I worked towards establishing contacts beyond Tollywood, and my comfort zone, and reaching out to global collaborators. Both these shorts are financed by Russian film producers, and the third one too will be produced by them.
What has this long struggle taught you?
I have been struggling in the film world for the past five years, and it took me three years to get a producer for my first short and that too from another country. It pains me that though we talk about the emergence of fresh content, there is little encouragement or support from within the Bengali film industry for directors like us who think out of the box. It’s all about the lobby and rotting in the common rut. The aptitude of the local production house too is sadly very low.
What are the projects that you are working on currently?
Apart from my third short film, Invisible Cities, based on Italo Calvino’s eponymous novella, I am also working on two full-length feature projects. One is Dead Man’s Mound, a $15 million-budget project, of which we have already secured 70-75 per cent through renowned global producers from the UK and Europe. This English-language movie will be shot extensively in Iceland and Norway, since it’s a 10th century Viking period drama of betrayal and revenge, with a surreal element thrown in. The cast will be international and casting directors too have been finalised.
We have already finalised Fredrik Wagner and Yohanna Idha for the film, and we are considering Mads Mikkelsen, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Skarsgård, Ray Stevenson, Alex Pettyfer among others for the rest of the cast, which will be completed once the global pandemic is over. Renowned composer Marco Werba is arranging the music for the film.
Besides this project, I am also working on a full-length bilingual surreal thriller, The Secret In The Wind (working title) with the same producers, but the details of the same have not yet been worked out.
What’s your take on the webspace?
To be honest, the same people and content have appropriated what was intended to be a platform for indie makers. And apart from a good few, people are lapping up the same hackneyed content in forms of series on the web. So, right now, I want to concentrate on filmmaking alone.