After winning the hearts of international audiences at Cardiff International Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival, author turned filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee seems to have won the hearts of French film industry with his latest film ‘Rickshawala’.
Recently Ram Kamal bagged Best Director Jury at 7th Rajasthan International Film Festival which was held at Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. The star studded award night saw the presence of dignitaries from across the world. It seems that after the screening of Mukherjee’s film at Miraaj Cinema in Jodhpur, he received thunderous applause. From Bollywood actor Yashpal Sharma to French Director Pierre Filmton, showered love for the film. Pierre Filmton whose documentary Close Encounter with Vilmos Zsigmond got nominated at Cannes International Film Festival in 2016, and this year he was in India to premiere his film Long Time No See. The maker was overwhelmed with the simple yet enduring narrative of ‘Rickshawala’. He even mentioned in his social media how excited he was after watching the film.
Meanwhile French actor Marianne Borgo, known for ‘The Divorce’ (2003), ‘The Bourne Identity’ (1988) and ‘A Little Princess’ (1986) was also present at the screening of Mukherjee’s film. “I had goosebumps at several scenes. Protagonist Avinash Dwivedi reminded me of Irrfan Khan, the pain and angst was so rightly portrayed on screen. The treatment is neo avant-garde, and I wish we could have screened this at Cannes. French cinema is like poetry, and this seems like one,” said Marianne Borgo after the screening of the film.
Bollywood actor Avinash Dwivedi who plays the lead in the film, was over the moon. “I think after this compliment from Madam Borgo, I can die,” he said. “For any actor Irrfan Khan is an inspiration and institute. After hearing her video comment I pinched myself twice. Frankly speaking this is an award by itself, and I would give the entire credit to my director Ram Kamal (dada) who could imagine me in this role,” says Avinash who is married to renowned television actress Sambhavna Seth.
Director Ram Kamal says, “This year the competition was tough as they had so many films participating. I was overwhelmed when they announced my name as Best Director. I think filmmaking is teamwork and when a director wins, the credit actually goes to the entire unit.” How does it feel when such dignitaries from French cinema praises an Indian cinema? “I feel truly blessed. As students of cinema we have watched 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 reinstalled faith in the fact that cinema is global, beyond boundaries,” he shared.
Produced by Aritra Das, Gaurav Daga and Shhailendra Kkumar, the film also got accolades for Modhura Palit’s cinematography and Neerajan Saha’s soulful music. ‘Rickshawala’ will be releasing this year after completion of the awards in India and abroad.