After winning the hearts of international audiences at the Cardiff International Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival, writer Ram Kamal Mukherjee appears to have captured the hearts of the French film industry with his latest film, Rickshawala.
Ram Kamal recently won the jury of best director at the 7th Rajasthan International Film Festival, held at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. Dignitaries from around the world attended the star-studded awards night. It appears that he received thunderous applause after the screening of Mukherjee’s film at the Miraaj Cinema in Jodhpur. From Bollywood actor Yashpal Sharma to French director Pierre Filmton, he showered the love of film. Pierre Filmton, whose documentary Close Encounter with Vilmos Zsigmond was nominated at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2016, was in India this year for the premiere of his film Long Time No See. The creator was blown away by the simple but enduring narrative of Rickshawala. He even mentioned on his social media how excited he was after seeing the movie.
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Meanwhile, French actress Marianne Borgo, known for The Divorce (2003), The Bourne Identity (1988) and A Little Princess (1986), also attended the screening of Mukherjee’s film. “I got goose bumps in several scenes. The protagonist Avinash Dwivedi reminded me of Irrfan Khan, the pain and the fear were really represented on the screen. The treatment is neo-avant-garde and I wish we could have investigated this in Cannes. French cinema is like poetry and it seems to be, ”said Marianne Borgo after the screening of the film.
The actor Avinash Dwivedi, who plays the main role in the film, was overjoyed. “I think I may die after receiving this compliment from Mrs Borgo,” he said. “For every actor, Irrfan Khan is an inspiration and an institute. After hearing her video commentary, I pinched myself twice. To be honest, this is an honor in itself and I would do my best to my director Ram Kamal (dada), who could introduce me in this role, ”says Avinash, who is married to the well-known television actress Sambhavna Seth.
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Director Ram Kamal says, “This year the competition was tough with so many films participating. I was overwhelmed when they announced my name as best director. I think filmmaking is teamwork, and when one director wins, the credit actually goes to the whole unit. “How does it feel when such dignitaries of French cinema praise Indian cinema? “I feel really blessed. As cinema students we saw great masters like Francois Truffaut, Jean Luc Godard and Robert Bresson. When Pierre Filmton and Marianne Borgo congratulated me and explained their understanding of Rickshawala, I felt happy. It just restored confidence in the fact that cinema is global, across borders, ”he shared.
Produced by Aritra Das, Gaurav Daga and Shhailendra Kkumar, the film also received awards for Modhura Palit’s cinematography and Neerajan Saha’s soulful music. Rickshawala will be released in India and abroad this year upon completion of awards.