"Jonaki" is a tale of an 80-year-old woman who searches for love in a strange world of decaying memories, while her lover, now old and grey, returns to a world she is leaving behind

After his internationally acclaimed debut, LABOUR OF LOVE, director Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s next Bengali language feature JONAKI makes its world premiere at the 47th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

Still from JONAKI

Still from JONAKI

An Indo French Singaporean co-production, the film will be screened in the Bright Future Section of IFFR 2018 to be held between 24th January and 4th February.

The film features 81-year-old actress Lolita Chatterjee (of Aap Ki Kasam & Victoria No. 203 fame) who is making her comeback as Jonaki along with Jim Sarbh (Neerja, Padmavati, A Death In the Gunj) and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee (Permanent Roommates).

Produced by Magic Hour Films, For Films, and Catherine Dussart Productions, Jonaki is a tale of an 80-year-old woman who searches for love in a strange world of decaying memories, while her lover, now old and grey, returns to a world she is leaving behind. MAGIC HOUR FILMS, and its Production Services subsidiary FILM IN INDIA are award winning production companies with offices in Bombay, New Delhi, Pondicherry and Singapore.

Thrilled about his second feature making its international debut at one of the most celebrated film festivals in the world, director Aditya Vikram Sengupta, says, “Jonaki is an esoteric journey of the unfulfilled life of an 80 years women. It is a film that is very personal to me and to have its world premier at Rotterdam is a true honour. IFFR celebrates and upholds auteur cinema with the highest regard and I think this is the perfect platform for us to showcase our vision.”

Director, Aditya Vikram Sengupta

Director, Aditya Vikram Sengupta

Director’s Note: Calcutta was made the imperial capital when the British colonised India, this made the state of Bengal a socio-cultural capital as well. Markedly influenced by western designs, a new breed of Bengalis emerged, aping the British lifestyle and thriving financially. They absorbed the shock of the west and stood superior to other fellow Bengalis yet not completely British. This now-nearly extinct class lived a life of convoluted lifestyle and clashing ideologies.

Such is Jonaki, the protagonist of this film, my Grandmother who I was incredibly fond of and shared an indelible bond with. Chronicles of her life, her affluent upbringing, her authoritarian mother, the loss of her father early were the subjects of my bedtime stories, as I lay beside her. Her most painful narration was her obliterated love for a Christian boy and her forceful marriage at the age of 16, which needless to say remained an unhappy one.

Still from JONAKI

Still from JONAKI

This plot is my imagination of what her thoughts could have probably been and my portrayal of them while she lay in coma for four days before she bid adieu. Is coma a mere state of unconsciousness? Or, is it a reflection of a life lived or denied?

Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s award winning debut feature Labour Of Love premiered at the Venice Film Festival 2014 where it won the FEDEORA award for best Debut Film. The film then featured at over 70 international film festivals including Busan, London, Tallinn, Munich, Marrakech, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles and won 13 awards internationally. The film was also feted with two National Awards in 2015 including the esteemed Golden Lotus for Best Debut Film.

Samir Sarkar, Magic Hour Films, the principal producer of Jonaki says, “When I watched  “Labour of Love, I realised I had found an Indian director that was out there to create a daringly distinct filmic language of his own. I wanted to support Aditya’s vision.”

Sarkar who was deeply involved with the production of Ang Lee’s Life of Pi adds, “Jonaki is another powerfully poignant tale of love lost. It is, in my opinion, one of those rare Indian films that has broken several boundaries to create an original Avant-garde style in filmmaking. Each frame is like a painting, each scene is thought provoking. IIFR will definitely help promote its journey”.

To know more click on the website link: www.jonakithefilm.com


Watch the Trailer here: