Short fiction on Bahurupias “Kayantar” to be screened at Woodpecker International Film Festival


The filmmaker duo Rajdeep Paul and Sarmistha Maiti’s short fiction film, “Kayantar” has already won several accolades globally and will be now screened this week in New Delhi as part of 7th Woodpecker International Film Festival (WIFF).

The story is centered around a family of Bahurupias, indigenous street performers. Aasia belongs to a clan of Bahurupias – who dress up as Hindu deities. She wants to adopt her father Ali’s art of metamorphosing into Kali, the black Goddess of Time, Power and Liberation, but being a woman she is not allowed to take up the conventionally male profession. Instead, the now decrepit Ali, forces the traditional family profession onto his son Aslam who detests it fearing ridicule, persecution and for its waning popularity. Despite poverty and hardship the small family lives freely in the fringes of the village society in the lap of nature influenced by the religious syncretism of the Baul-Fakir mystics, tolerated by both Hindus and Muslims. But a sudden surge of change transforms their lives forever.

Set in the backdrop of the lush green tapestry of rural Bengal while narrating a story rooted in its milieu, the film reflects themes of universal concern. It takes an insightful look into the age-old evils of gender binaries, religious fundamentalism and communal disharmony plaguing human society even today and is an earnest cinematic appeal to look beyond such myopic glasses of discrimination and celebrate humanity simply as human beings.

Produced by Anjan Bose, the world premiere of Kayantar was held at 10th Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2019 followed by the 14th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival 2019 in Seattle, USA and 4th Mustard Seed Film Festival, Philadelphia, USA. The Indian Premiere was held in the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival 2019, followed by New York South Asian Film Festival 2019. It will be screened in 7th Woodpecker International Film Festival, New Delhi on 1st December and will be showcased in the 17th Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival 2019 in Kolkata on 5th December. It has also been selected at the 19th Imagineindia International Film Festival, Madrid, Spain in May, 2020.

This year’s Woodpecker International Film Festival (WIFF) has “67 films to Know Your World” as its central theme and the festival once again brings hard-hitting contemporary issues on the big screen. It will be organised from Nov 29-Dec 1, 2019 at Siri Fort Auditorium. According to Rao Narender Yadav, Founder Director of the festival, “Woodpecker International Film Festival (WIFF believes in showcasing the ‘real world’ on the big screen. This year also, we have got diverse stories from different parts of the world, on issues that are of critical importance to everyone. Be it violence against women by ISIS, condition of Rohingya women, rise of Artificial Intelligence, exciting new discoveries from the natural world or issues related to LGBT community, through WIFF we want to bring them in the public domain.” Woodpecker International Film Festival (WIFF) was launched in 2013 and is chaired by veteran actor Avijit Dutt.

Directors of ‘Kayantar’, Rajdeep Paul and Sarmistha Maiti will be present during the screening of their film on December 1 in New Delhi.

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