Made in 2015, filmmaker Sohini Dasgupta’s debut feature, Choti Moti Batein, is yet to release

Starring Kulbhusan Kharbanda, Ananya Chatterjee and Tannishtha Chatterjee the films explores why some people choose self-isolation
Ananya and Tannishtha in Choti Moti Batein
Ananya and Tannishtha in Choti Moti Batein

An assistant to the illustrious filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta (who also happens to be her husband) for over 15 years now, Sohini Dasgupta has made several documentary films among which Drama Queens, an amazing story tracing the lives of three veteran women thespians just got screened online by the Films Division. It was also a part of the prestigious Indian Panorama this year.

But ironically, her first-ever full-length Hindi feature, Choti Moti Batein — Sweet Home, made way back in 2015, still awaits a release. Inspired by the two sisters in Noida, who were rescued from self-isolation, the movie, starring Ananya Chatterjee, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Kulbhushan Kharbanda, explores the realms of the mind and its working. Emotionally stirring, the film seeks to find out why some of us reject the outer world, give up on living and unknowingly give into depression.

<em>Sohini Dasgupta</em>
Sohini Dasgupta

A Film and Television Institute of India graduate, Sohini has always aimed at creating timeless stories on celluloid. We had a chat with the effervescent filmmaker about the film and her future projects. Excerpts:

It’s been a long wait for the film’s release?

Yes, indeed it’s been a long wait and I hope it releases sometime soon on any of the OTT platforms. A filmmaker’s biggest satisfaction is when the film reaches a wider audience.

<em>Ananya and Tannishtha in Choti Moti Batein</em>
Ananya and Tannishtha in Choti Moti Batein

It’s an unusual film to debut with…

I read in the newspapers in 2011 about two sisters in Noida, who had self-isolated themselves for a couple of years or so after their father’s death. They were still alive when rescued from their housing apartment. The story struck me hard and left a profound impact. I kept thinking about those girls and slowly images started creeping in.

<em>Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Ananya and Tannishtha in Choti Moti Batein</em>
Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Ananya and Tannishtha in Choti Moti Batein

After I made Choti Moti Batein, many more incidents of self-isolation were found across the cities of our country. The year 2020, the lockdown period and the uncertainty reverberated the emotions of the film in an uncanny way. But I never wanted to retell that particular incident verbatim on screen. I merely used it as a premise to explore the dark and deep recesses of our mind.

What are the other projects you are working on?

I shall be starting my next docu-feature on Gauhar Jaan soon and I am ready with the script of my second feature film. Also, I have a few interesting scripts for the OTT.

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