| Sarbadhicari: Camera call
The big-screen bridge between Berlin and Bengal has never been wider. If Oscar-winning director Florian Gallenberger is working on a Bengali film, our own Anindita Sarbadhicari is headed for the German capital to steer an Indo-German venture.
The Land of Cold Sun is what the graduate from National School of Drama (NSD) and Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) is calling her film. “The idea germinated from an earlier trip to Germany, where I was mugged by three skinheads at a place called Isbaan. In those days, the Rightists backed these guys but now, I believe, things have changed,” says Anindita.
The girl in the film (to be played probably by June Maliah) experiences the changes during an 18-hour stopover between flights. She meets a German youth and together they discover various facets of the place they meet in and the course their lives take. The film, to be funded partly by the German government, will draw its crew mainly from the local industry.
“Though we are technically one-up on them, the cost of transporting the entire unit to Germany would be too much. So, besides me, only June (if she confirms) and my assistants will be parked there from next year,” says Anindita, who has the award-winning diploma film Barkha to her credit.
She intends showing historical landmarks of the land of the cold sun she’ll be travelling to. So, don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of Hitler’s bunker and Berlin Square. “These landmarks will be woven into the plot, even as the film traces the girl’s experiences on her first visit to the city,” reveals the director.
This, however, is not Anindita’s first tryst with the German film industry. On a return trip from New York, where she was nominated for the Students’ Oscar for Barkha, she had been roped in by friends for a break in Berlin. “There, I was asked by some parallel film-makers to make a quick television project. So, I made Annie Comes To Germany, which was shown on television,” she smiles.
The industry there, she says, is quite similar to India with two sets of film-making — blockbusters and parallel — in vogue.
“But qualitatively, we are far ahead of them,” asserts the young woman, who found the spotlight trained firmly on her when she worked for a while with Polish director Zanussi.