SHE RULES

WITH IN­TER­NA­TIONAL WOMEN’S DAY AROUND THE COR­NER, SIM­PLY KOLKATA TRACKS THE JOUR­NEY OF SOME FEAR­LESS WOMEN WHO HAVE THE ABIL­ITY TO DREAM BIG.

India Today - - COVER STORY - BY MALINI BAN­ER­JEE

First cut De­barati Gupta, 34, Film­maker

If she is to be be­lieved, De­barati Gupta says she be­came a film­maker by ac­ci­dent. She be­gan work­ing as a pub­lic re­la­tions con­sul­tant af­ter com­plet­ing her post grad­u­ate stud­ies in mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Cal­cutta Univer­sity. “I hated the job and re­alised PR was not my cup of tea. Luck­ily enough, there was a pro­duc­tion house on the floor be­low where I worked, and I just walked in one day, and there has been no look­ing back since then,” she says. She got her first break in 2005, when she wrote scripts for two Tol­ly­wood movies. Af­ter writ­ing a few scripts, she re­alised she wanted to di­rect films as well. Thus be­gan her search for di­rec­tors who would al­low her to as­sist them in pro­duc­tion. This search came to an end when Gupta met film­maker Bap­pa­ditya Bandyopadhyay, who let her work on his films Kagocher

Bou and Housefull. Un­der his guid­ance, Gupta fur­ther got the op­por­tu­nity to as­sist Sri Lankan film­maker Vimuk­thi Jaya­sun­dara on his film Cha­trak in 2011. “I learnt a lot while work­ing on this project,” she says. Though the film drew a lot con­tro­versy for por­tray­ing a sex­u­ally ex­plicit scene, Gupta’s work was much ap­pre­ci­ated. All this paved the way for her de­but film Hoi Choi ( 2013), a tale about a street theatre group. Ask her about whether it was dif­fi­cult be­ing a debu­tant di­rec­tor with no for­mal train­ing in film­mak­ing, she says,“I miss the for­mal train­ing at times, but I think I com­pen­sate it by be­ing a tough taskmas­ter.” The willowy di­rec­tor is now ready for her sec­ond project “My next film will be a ro­man­tic comic thriller,” she says but does not re­veal any­thing more about the plot.

Pho­to­graph by SUBIR HALDER

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