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Suman Ghosh and Bauddhayan Mukherji’s new films at Busan’s Asian Project Market

by Rutwij Nakhwa


Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Project Market (APM) boasts of being Asia’s largest for investment in and co-production of films. This year in its 22nd edition, APM has selected, from 384 entries from 60 countries, 29 projects which it will showcase to global industry professionals. Among the selected projects are two from India: Suman Ghosh’s ‘The Waste Collector’ and Bauddhayan Mukherji’s ‘Marichjhapi’.

Ghosh’s film is produced by Dipankar Das and will tell the story of a strange relationship that develops between a waste collector and his affluent clients, through the garbage he collects from their homes. ‘The Waste Collector’ will be entirely shot in Kolkata.

The director, Ghosh shared, “I am delighted that my project got selected in the Asian Project Market amongst hundreds of submissions all over the world. It basically helps one to assess whether a cinematic idea is truly global or not. One gets to meet international producers, sales agents, and festival programmers, which helps the project down the line. It is truly a global platform. I have been to the APM before with my film ‘Aadhaar’ which was shot earlier this year and set to release in November.”

Ghosh is a National Award-winning Indian filmmaker who has made a number of acclaimed and well-travelled feature films as well as a documentary on the Indian Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. His latest feature film ‘Aadhaar’ is socio-political satire on the introduction of Aadhaar cards in a remote village in Jharkhand, and is set in a part of ‘Bharat’ that can only aspire to be part of the new India but has no idea how to go about it.

The second selection from India, Bauddhayan Mukherji’s ‘Marichjhapi’ is on the eponymous island in the Sunderbans where Bangladeshi lower-caste refugees had settled in the late 70s, and saw, possibly, the worst planned genocide in independent India with thousands massacred by government forces. The film will explore the human story of grit, survival, and the desire to live in the face of such atrocity and ruthlessness. ‘Marichjhapi’ will be made in Bengali, and is produced by Monalisa Mukherji, with a screenplay by Bauddhayan Mukherji, and Abhinandan Banerjee.     

Bauddhayan Mukherji shared, “I wish to awaken the 40-year-old ghost of Marichjhapi, let the world know of it. Marichjhapi's selection at the APM would possibly be the first step towards realizing this goal. In Busan, I hope to find co-producers who would join us in this journey.”

Mukherji is among India's leading advertising filmmakers, best known for directing ‘Bell Bajao’, a campaign against domestic violence. He has also made notable feature films such as 'Teenkahonn' and 'The Violin Player'. 

Since its inception in 1998, APM has presented over 556 projects, establishing itself as a creative centre which has kick-started numerous noteworthy and exceptional films. This year, it will be held from October 6 – 8, at the BEXCO centre in Busan.