It was a meeting of two minds. Acclaimed film directors, they’d successfully straddled the worlds of regional and Hindi cinema. And by some happy coincidence both were at Cannes. On the sidelines of the 2007 film festival, Rituparno Ghosh was vibing really well with Mani Ratnam. And there was good reason to — Ratnam was all praise for Ghosh’s film Dosar which had been screened at Cannes. And the south Indian director was said to have been equally impressed by the hero of Dosar, Bengali actor Prasenjit. So don’t be surprised if you see our own Bengalibabu in one of Ratnam’s new films. It may take two to tango, but you need three for a Cannes-Cannes.
We really don’t want to see Tom Alter as another Englishman from the colonial era in another period drama. And he is making sure we don’t. Alter is keeping himself busy in the theatre circuit, with book releases and even a children’s film. Recently spotted at a preview of Virendra Sahni’s film Foto, he is also gracing the stage as the narrator in the play K.L. Saigal, directed by M. Sayeed Alam. Alter, who has completed more than 30 years in the Hindi film industry, says he is going to act in 10 new plays in the next two months. For him, clearly, a stage is the world.
Production designer Samir Chanda is ready with his first film, Ek Nodir Golpo, based on Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Ekti Nodir Naam. “I have been in this industry for the past 26 years and after working with directors such as Mani Ratnam and Shyam Benegal, I reckoned that I knew enough about films to make a foray into film making myself,” Chanda says. The film is about the relationship between a father (Mithun Chakrabarty) and a daughter (Sweta Prasad) that ends in her tragic death. Chanda is elated with the performance of Chakrabarty, describing it as his best ever. “People can judge this for themselves when the film is released in September this year,” he says.
In Cannes, incognito
A celebrity, as the saying goes, is a person who works hard to become famous, and then wears dark glasses ever after to avoid being recognised. Preity Zinta doesn’t quite do that, but she must have been pleasantly surprised at the Cannes film festival last week not to be hounded by the paparazzi. While Bips and John, or Ash and Abhi, hogged the arc lights, Zinta had a good time doing her own thing — without being besieged by the media. She even managed to elude the flashbulbs at a party thrown by Chopard. Zinta may be the official ambassador for the watchmakers, but it was Liz Hurley who gathered all the eyeballs at the do. But Zinta is not complaining. Last seen, she was happily roaming around Cannes and shopping. And, no doubt, singing to herself: Oh to be in Cannes, now that summer’s here…
Down Under but up and about — that’s the tale of the Calcutta-based designer duo Dev and Nil. The two presented their label Dev r Nil at the recently concluded Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, where they showcased their latest in ‘resort wear’ — the new lingo for holiday clothes. The two hold that their first show abroad was a grand success. “The experience was absolutely thrilling. We were a little apprehensive but we learnt a lot and it has set us up nicely for future shows in other countries,” Dev tells The Telegraph.