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Bengali Film wins International critic Award

Friday, August 04, 2006
New Delhi (UNI): An Indian film that deals in "a poetic and deeply moving way" with relations between the rich and the poor has bagged the critics award at a recent film festival in Tanzania. "Talnabami", a Bengali film dealing with relations between rich and poor; between those who belong and those being excluded-the tragedy of exclusion, and the natural emotions characterising their existence in the natural ambience of a village has been awarded the 'FIPRESCI' prize (International critic Award) at the 9th Zanzibar International film festival in Tanzania, held from July 14 to 22. Scripted and directed by Dhananjoy Mandal, who has won three International awards for his documentary A Silent Killer, 'Talnabami' was awarded the prize at the festival on July 22 by a jury composed of renowned critics from France, Egypt, Turkey, Russia and Burkina Faso.

Of the several films before it, the jury singled out 'Talnabami' for the award because of the film being an example of ''high cinematographic quality achieved with extremely low budget''. In praise of the film, the critics said that even though it was set in the specific cultural context of a Dhow country, ''it delivers a universal message''. ''The poetic treatment of the Bengali film will not only touch film critics but also a larger audience,''the jury members said in their citation.

Based on a story by Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhyay, 'Talnabami' delves deep into the basic human emotions in the natural ambience of the Bengal village. The story revolves around two village youngsters from a poor family, Gopal and Nepal, who encounter an egoistic world at a very tender age. The kids learn about the festival of Talnabami at their Aunt Joti's house and the fact that everybody in the village would be invited to the grand feast. Both the boys dream to feast at their Pishi's house. Optimistic Gopal waits for the invitation and tries to attract Joti Pishi's attention. On the day of Talnabami he is ready to go to Jyoti Pishi's house, still expecting an invitation and waits outside the hut. With a broken heart he watches the entire village proceeding towards Joti Pishi's house.

'Talnabami' has already participated in International Film Festivals at Iran, the Netherlands and Greece and five other festivals in India. Now, it has been invited for screening at the Alexandria International film festival in Cairo, Egypt, scheduled to be held from September 5-10. The film's cast includes actors Sourav Das, Suparna Bhattyacharya, Sreela Majumder, Sunil Mukherjee, Jharna Sengupta, and Piyali Baag.

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