Konkona Sen Sharma’s first feature film as a director, A Death in the Gunj is all set to have its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in the Special Presentation Section.
The film starring Kalki Koechlin, Vikrant Massey, Ranvir Shorey, Tanuja, Om Puri, TillotamaS home, Jim Saarbh and Gulshan Devaiah also marks the debut of Honey Trehan and Abhishek Chaubey as producers. An elated Konkona – who has also penned the script – shares, “It’s a great honour and I’m really excited. I was thrilled to get this beautiful email from Cameron Bailey (artistic director of the festival). It was like ‘OMG! Somebody understands my film’.”
Talking about her directorial debut, the two-time National Award-winning actress who has earlier directed a short film, adds, “It’s a human drama, a story of a family from Kolkata visiting retired parents settled in McCluskiegunj over a span of seven days.” She furthers that the film revolves around the character Shyamal Chatterjee (Vikrant Massey) aka Shutu, a shy student who uses a road trip to the old Anglo-Indian town now in Jharkhand as an escape from his failed semester. In the week that follows, his quiet unraveling is initially overlooked by the family revelers, until the holiday ends with an implosion.
Interestingly, the film wrapped up in just 31 days and Konkona attributes it to her cast and says, “I opted for brilliant actors. All the performers were extremely talented without me having to worry about any of them. We had workshops prior to the shoot when we got to know each other well and when in Ranchi we all lived together for a month.”