Filmmaker Promita Bhowmik's short, Porichoy, fetches accolades at global festivals

Budding director Promita Bhowmik is receiving accolades for her first short Porichoy

Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  23rd July 2021 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  23rd July 2021 12:00 AM
Promita With Koneenica Bandyopadhyay

Promita with Sudiptaa Chakraborty and Koneenica Bandyopadhyay during filming

The passion for filmmaking can be so intoxicating that even the allure of a degree in medicine is not enough to keep you away. That’s exactly what budding director Promita Bhowmik forsook to pursue a very unpredictable career in films. “Instead of studying MBBS I opted for Bengali literature at Jadavpur University,” tells Promita, who holds a PhD in the subject. An award-winning poet, writer and translator, Promita has nine books to her credit. “When the opportunity came to join government service as an assistant professor in a college, I decided to make films for a living,” she recalls.

And after directing a short documentary film and a poetry film, Promita has come up with her first short feature Porichoy (The Identity) starring Sudipta Chakraborty and Koneenica Bandyopadhyay. The film is getting attention at prominent global festivals, winning the Best Narrative Short Film award in Istanbul Film Awards (2021), Best Women Director award at Madras Independent Film Festival and an Honourable Mention award at Paris Film Festival this year. We talk to the young director about the same and more.

Tell us about the idea behind this short.

This film tries to understand what self-identity could possibly mean for a woman in today’s India. The message is that ‘identity doesn’t depend on the profession or social stigma of patriarchy. Self-respect, Self-dependence and self-confidence are essential components of any woman’s identity, now.

Promita and Koneenica Bandyopadhyay
Promita with Koneenica Bandyopadhyay during filming

The film shows college batchmates Anuradha, a housewife, and Shreya, a sex worker, meeting after a long gap, and trying to explore each other’s lives to understand what ‘self-identity could possibly mean for a woman in today’s time.

How was the experience of working with Sudipta Chakraborty and Koneenica Bandyopadhyay

‘Porichoy’ gave me the opportunity to work with two extremely powerful actresses – Sudipta Chakraborty and Koneenica Bandyopadhyay. It was an incredible experience to handle them for my first short film. They were very cooperative, helpful and didn’t make me feel that I am a debutant. Sudipta also gave me some valuable inputs for making Porichoy a success.

Do you plan to explore the web?

At this point in time, I am not planning to explore the web. I have a plan to make a feature film though for which the script is ready. This would be a women-centric story revolving around some deep-rooted social issues of patriarchy. Our initial preproduction has already started.