With the Cannes Film Festival 10 days away, 24-year old Lubdhak Chatterjee has much to look forward to — his first independent short film, In A Free State, will be screened in the non-competition shor
With the Cannes Film Festival 10 days away, 24-year old Lubdhak Chatterjee has much to look forward to — his first independent short film, In A Free State, will be screened in the non-competition short films corner.
The 28-minute film, made in about a year on a shoestring budget of Rs 50,000, has been written, directed, shot and edited by Chatterjee while the sound is by Saugata Banerjee. The movie incorporates a few dialogues in three languages — English, Hindi and Bengali.
The movie, shot in Uttarakhand, is a journey of self-discovery of the two protagonists — a painter and an aspiring filmmaker.
“I wanted to explore the state of mind of the two characters and what free will means to them, because the mind fascinates me. Everything dissolves in the mind — the past, present, future; binary distinctions like real and unreal,” said Chatterjee, a masters student of electronics and communication engineering at the Delhi Technological University.
Chatterjee has drawn on experiences from his life while creating the movie. “When we make our own definitions of reality, there is a clash if it doesn’t match the definitions of society. I wonder if the choices I make are in congruence with my reality,” he said. “But”, he added, “I have tried to be neutral while forming the characters.”
The interplay of sound and silence was an important tool to give the audience a chance to contemplate the characters’ thoughts as well as their own. “Ultimately, it is up to the audience to take what they want because the audience has free will too. I believe cinema which gives experiences is the cinema of truth, rather than something with twists and turns,” he said.
In A Free State is one of the 32 Indian films selected for screening at the short film corner at Cannes in 2016. The screening will give Chatterjee exposure to an international audience, and help him network with other filmmakers. However, he will not be accompanying his film to the festival as he can’t afford it. “The perils of an indie film,” he said. While ruing the absence of a market for short films in India, Chatterjee said he was planning to send the film to several festivals and would probably release the movie online after a year.