Berlinale Talents participant Tathagata Ghosh: ‘Through my films I try to freeze the rapidly changing corners of rural Bengal’

Posted on March 3, 2021



113 women, 84 men and 8 who preferred to not state their gender — 205 film professionals in all, from 65 countries — have been chosen for Berlinale Talents. An interview with Tathagata Ghosh from Kolkata, one of the nine Indian talents selected for the programme.

Spoilers ahead…

Tathagata Ghosh, director and screenwriter, gained recognition with Miss Man, the story of a gay man in a village. His other shorts include Dhulo and The Meat. These films are a strong mix of the person and the political, and the technique is extraordinary. So it’s inevitable that this conversation begins with a question about craft.

Congratulations Tathagata. This is a great honour. How did you develop your cinematic eye? Or let me put it this way. Can one “develop” a cinematic eye, or is it something you have to be born with?

I was always drawn to painting and writing stories from an early age. I learnt Indian classical painting, and whenever I used to write something, even a poem, I used to illustrate it. So I was a visual person from early on. In my high school days, I started publishing a quarterly magazine in Bengali with a couple of friends. I used to collect stories from well-known Bengali writers. I contributed to the magazine as well and illustrated the stories and poems. It was during this time that I thought of filming one of my stories. It felt like the illustration was crying out to me and requesting me to make it come alive by moving it. I picked up a handycam that one of my uncles used to lend for weddings, called a few friends and shot a scene from the story. I knew nothing about filmmaking then. But it just made me fall in love with cinema even more.

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