Director Ram Kamal Mukherjee is all set to direct Rukmini Maitra in the film Draupadi. Produced by Dev and Prateek Chakravorty from Mumbai, the film promises to be a visual extravaganza. "Paawaan Aagarwal and I are working on the screenplay of Draupadi. My producers are also working on the logistics of the film. We are trying to create a team that would help us in achieving our vision. Rukmini will soon start her preparations for Draupadi," smiles Ram Kamal. t2 caught up with the film-maker on his birthday today...
Happy birthday! What are your birthday plans today?
It seems my friends and colleagues are very excited that I am in Calcutta for my birthday after almost two decades since I shifted base to Mumbai. Friends from the Bengali film industry decided to celebrate my birthday across the week at various locations.
Do you have a birthday wish?
I would love to make more movies of my choice. I hope I get producers who would support my vision and allow me to tell stories of my understanding.
Would you like to make a special announcement on your birthday?
I guess, winning the National Award for my Hindi film Ek Duaa this year calls for a celebration. I am looking forward to locking the screenplay of my next film Draupadi and then getting into pre-production.
How has the year 2023 panned out for you till now?
2023 will always be one of the most memorable years for me. It started with the shooting of my dream venture Binodiini — Ekti Natir Upakhyan and ended with the announcement of a National Award for Ek Duaa and my next Bengali film Draupadi. This was a tough year for me because I have been staying away from my wife Sarbani and my son Rian for almost a year to finish Binodiini — Ekti Natir Upakhyan.
Since it's a period drama, the post-production work takes time. Even the background score is taking more time than usual, because Sourendro and Soumyojit are working on each scene, with utmost dedication.
We are working on all possible aspects to give it an authentic look and feel. We are hoping to wrap the film by the end of this month. And as far as Bollywood is concerned, I will soon announce my next Hindi feature.
How was your shooting experience for Binodiini?
This can become a book. In fact, Dev suggested that I write about my experience of making Binodiini — Ekti Natir Upakhyan as a coffee table book. The journey that started in 2019, with Assorted Motion Pictures trying to mount this magnum opus, met several roadblocks. But we had faith in ourselves and we didn't give up. Binodiini is not just a film for me, it's a lifetime experience for me and my entire crew members.
How would you describe Dev as a producer?
He is by far the best producer I have seen in my career. Dev is a brilliant human being. He understands the commerce and creative aspects of cinema. He is trying to change the thought process of audiences with his kind of cinema. When he decided to stand by a film like Binodiini, I knew that he was not one of the regular producers. When he approved Draupadi, I was certain that Dev would change the scenario of Bengali cinema in the next five years. Though he was shooting Bagha Jatin in some remote forest area in Odisha, he made it a point to call me almost every day to check on my requirements on the sets of Binodiini. Whenever he had his break days, he would visit our set and spend time with us. He is my moral support, he is my friend who also happens to be my producer.