Writer turned Producer Debarti Banerjee aka Quiien from QDR Opus Pvt. Ltd, speaks about India’s first atmospheric film AVICHI that premiers at the Kolkata International Film Festival in the Asian Select (NETPAC) Award category.
The prestigious KIFF (Kolkata International Film Festival) in its 23rd edition this year has a spectrum of 143 films from 53 countries spread across 12 venues kicking off from November 10 to 17.AVICHI is in competition in the Asian Select ((NETPAC) category - The Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) is a worldwide organization of 29 member countries.
AVICHI competes with GOODBYE KATMANDU by renowned film maker from Nepal Nabin Subba, Harikumar’s CLINT AND Chinese filmmaker Zhang Wei’s BALAD FROM TIBET with other films in the category.
Quiien who has a passion for writing was associated with writer director of AVICHI Varun Chowdhury during their work on 'The Last Act'. Varun's debut short film ENTRAPPED, bagged him the official selection in the reputed and prestigious competition called 'The Last Act' which was India's first collaborative feature film, which had 12 directors from across the country. This was under Royal Stag's Large Short Films in 2012. Quiien who desires to make cinema of her belief says the concept of AVICHI is novel and the way the exploration of the human condition is told through the story of Knife and Scar without any dialogues holds the key.
Writer Director Varun Chowdhury has written a descriptive screenplay that captures the entire mood and atmosphere, AVICHI is a story of how our fear of the unknown, the desire to change the inevitable and delusions disguised as hope, binds us in an unbreakable circle of misery, and how these imperfections make us who we are.”.
“And when we are running out of hope, there is nothing much to say” she adds and on the question of going without dialogue to convey such a message is a ploy to please the ‘art house’ aficionado to have a smooth festival run, the debutant producer reacts by saying, “ going without dialogue wasn't a criteria or a gimmick for us, Varun has written the screenplay in such a way that the atmosphere and the visuals convey the feelings without the need of uttering a spoken word. In fact Varun had given a free hand to the actors Puneet Channa and Vishnu Warrier to speak whenever they felt a dialogue was necessary to explain the moment to the audience but the actors shared the same sentiment with the writer director and us. They went along with the flow, making it completely believable with their stellar performances and Abhishek Modak’s cinematography acted as the perfect muse while Ramon Ibrahim’s music score and Abhishek Nair's sound design created the aura making it India’s first atmospheric film”.
Sharing about her experience on taking AVICHI to film festivals, Quiien says, “ It has been quite a journey, we are glad that AVICHI has find a slot in the Asian Select ((NETPAC) category and we are hopeful that the movie finds patronage amongst the audience”.
Sharing about the journey of AVICHI a movie which is self funded and solely backed by the belief of the 3 partners in QDR Opus (Quiien, Deepak Ghoshal and Rajesh Thangarajan) married with the vision of Varun Chowdhury, Quiien says,” AVICHI is a result of overwhelming support her partner Deepak without whom this film would not have seen the light of day under the QDR banner, of her entire team starting with Varun who wrote and edited the film, her EP Rahul, AD Anku, her actors Vishnu and Puneet, no one other than these two could have pulled the role of Scar and Knife off she feels, Ramon (music) and the 2 Abhishek's (DOP and Sound Design). She goes on to say that without the support of friends and well wishers who believed in the project and helped them get this far’.
As the date is nearing the QDR team are planning some social media activities and getting along with whatever connection they have in Kolkata to create a buzz for their film. The festival which will be inaugurated by legends like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kamal Haasan, and director Mahesh Bhatt on November 10 at Netaji Indoor Stadium with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also has a special focus on United Kingdom this year.
Quiien is hoping for a favorable response for AVICHI as she feels “ We have tried to tell a story the way we thought was the best way to tell such a story and are hoping that the response from the audience and her peers helps India’s first atmospheric film which is without any dialogue manages to voice its new found language in cinema with the haunting chorus that echoes the complexities of soulless beings wandering in a state of misery, turning animalistic, with each passing moment, in a never-ending realm of hell.”.
On the origin of the word and title of the film, Quiien says, “ AVICHI” is a Sanskrit and also Pali word, which means “without soul.”. It has been an exciting and challenging journey, for this independent team, to film on a tight budget, and come out with a film which manages to convey what we set out to without any dialogues been spoken” concludes the producer.