Mahul Brahma, a Kolkata-based senior editor tuned corporate communicator, is on cloud nine these days. He is soon to fly down to Cannes Film Festival for his role in a short film by a Delhi based banker friend, which has been for screening in one of the most prestigious film festivals of the world.
Mahul, who was reluctant to do the part initially, is excited as he thanks his director friend Anirban Guha for his conviction who cast him in a role in the short film Elixir.
Wait until you get to the interesting part. Anirban Guha is no FTII or NSD graduate. He is a Delhi-based banker who is just happy with what he terms as an 'unexpected thing for him'.
Gushes Mahul, "I am humbled that it got selected by Cannes jury. Watching our movie screened at Cannes Film Festival will be an amazing experience."
Remarking on their journey, director Anirban Guha says, "It was kind of a dream which I never thought would see the light of the day. Banker by profession I’ve been in theatrics even since my childhood and have written and directed several theatrical productions in various cities. But making a film was something totally new for me."
The film was shot for over a year, with principal photography taking place for just four days.
Recounting his experience, Mahul Brahma said that it was challenging for him to face the camera, but thanked his cast members for making it easy for him.
"When Anirban told me about the role I thought he must be joking. He was absolutely sure that I will fit the role of Akash, the dream lover, best. Every day of the shoot was a challenge for me. Facing the camera. Acting. But thanks to the excellent team effort, the hard work paid off," he says.
When asked what the movie is about, Mahul says, "The film essentially talks about a mind-journey, a journey into soul and solitude," and adds, "The story weaves itself around a woman and the parallel realities that she lives and yearns for."
Explaining the title of the film, he says, "The Elixir helps her get into a dream world with her dream lover. She yearns for this imaginary life and prefers it to the reality that reminds her of her estranged husband and the failed marriage. She ends up in a mental asylum and is offered a final choice, another drink of Elixir."
Speaking about his venture, the director adds, "Earlier we had attempted something at a much smaller scale with few friends together, but this one so to say is my first serious attempt at film-making.”
When asked how did the team manage everything, Mahul says, "The film-making process was practically spread over a whole year, starting from mid-2015. The shoot was of 4 days in December, 2015, when Anirban could finally manage to take leaves from work. Following that, there was a long period that kept him occupied with rigorous post-production activities."
"Since the technical team was spread across 3 different cities, much of this iterative and intense work had to be carried out over telephonic and internet conversations. This was coupled with some hurricane trips to Kolkata over weekends to brush up and even out loose ends," a visibly satisfied actor, adds.
The cast comprises of Daminee Benny Basu, Mahul Brahma, Arindom Ghosh, and Dr Koushik Dutta.
Sreya Chatterjee, an FTII alumni and national award winning editor, wielded the scissors along with fellow alumnus Ravi Kiran Ayyagari, the DOP.
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