SUN­DANCE BOUNDS

India Today - - LEISURE - —Suhani Singh

For a sin­gle woman, find­ing a flat to rent in Mum­bai is as good as win­ning a lot­tery—as film­maker Reema Sen­gupta, 27, knows all too well. Sen­gupta was study­ing in Lon­don when her fa­ther told her mother, Surekha, that she’d have to find her own place.

“She is an ex­tremely ed­u­cated and in­de­pen­dent woman who had ac­tu­ally been in charge of the house

fi­nan­cially for a long time,” says Sen­gupta. “Sud­denly, she was scram­bling to find a house and no­body would give it to her be­cause her hus­band wasn’t by her side.” The daugh­ter’s anger and frus­tra­tion fu­elled the script for her third short film, Coun­ter­feit Kunkoo, which will vie for the in­ter­na­tional nar­ra­tive short prize at the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val later this month.

Star­ring Malay­ali ac­tor Kani Kus­ruti and Vi­jay Varma (last seen in the film, Mon­soon Shootout), the film was pro­duced by her mother, who earns a liv­ing as a past life re­gres­sion ther­a­pist.

It’s the story of a woman’s search for a house of her own af­ter she leaves her abu­sive hus­band.

It also ad­dresses the is­sue of mar­i­tal rape—still le­gal in In­dia and a hand­ful of other coun­tries.

Kunkoo is the Marathi word for the red bindi mar­ried women wear. But here the ti­tle al­ludes to a mar­riage “that has lost all mean­ing and only func­tions in a sim­u­lacrum”, says Sen­gupta. “What I re­ally wanted to do is to make cin­ema that con­trib­utes to so­cial change.” Sen­gupta is now de­vel­op­ing a fea­ture script.

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