Please tell us about yourself
Aditi Roy’s first film Abosheshey (At the end of it all) got released in September drawing accolades from viewers and critics alike. The film made by the 31-year-old Kolkata-based director was much anticipated, having done the rounds of several international festivals, bagged the NETPAC award at the 16th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) and a National Award for playback singing for Rupa Ganguly.
Ms. Roy says renowned film-director Priyadarshan had congratulated her at IFFK saying “if this is your first, then imagine what the rest will be like!” But she doesn’t seem to be in a hurry, taking “one step at a time,” right now devoting herself to promoting Abosheshey. “It is important for a filmmaker to be patient,” she says.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?
As a child, Ms. Roy wanted to become a journalist like her father (Ajoy Roy). She took up B.A. with Political Science honours from Jadavpur University in 1999. Film Studies was one of the pass subjects that she had opted for because “I’ve always been a huge film buff.” What brought about a transformation in her was the exposure to the works of legends such as Fellini and Bergman. Films by the likes of Rittik Ghatak, Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Guru Dutt began to tantalise her creative instincts and films like Wild Strawberries, Bicycle Thieves and Komal Gandhar set her day-dreaming.
What did you study further?
Finishing her M.A. in Film Studies, she did a diploma course in direction from Roopkala Kendra, Kolkata. In 2006 when she heard the story of Abosheshey from a writer and friend Neel B. Mitra, she immediately decided to do this film. “The story was too good to let it go.”
Formal training, she maintains, is important for aspiring filmmakers. “It is very important to educate yourself on the nitty-gritty of filmmaking. The knowledge of theories and principles is important because it helps you improve your cinematic language,” she adds.
Your advice to students?
But just a degree is not enough. “You’ve got to keep doing your own things. Go, take part in the theatre; walk the streets with your camera. You’ve got to keep doing your own stuff. That’s because in the end, while you build up on your knowledge of theories, it is from your experience that you put the theories into practice,” says Ms. Roy.
This is the best time for anyone to take the plunge in filmmaking. “Until some years ago, there was hardly any scope to do your kind of work because films followed some kind of formula, leading to a kind of stagnation,” she says. “Now, there are so many interesting experiments happening around. Here’s your chance to make a film you always wanted to, give the audience something good, something creative, that they have missed so far.”
“It is important for a filmmaker to be patient.”