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Sunday, December 8, 2002
Lead Article

In the spotlight
Hawaiian honour for Aparna Sen

Reason to smile: Aparna Senís (extreme left) film Mr & Mrs Iyer has been named the best feature film at the recent Hawaii International Festival
Reason to smile: Aparna Senís (extreme left) film Mr & Mrs Iyer has been named the best feature film at the recent Hawaii International Festival

IT's celebration time once again for Bengali director Aparna Sen. Her film Mr & Mrs Iyer, has been named as the best feature film at the Hawaii International Festival. Two decades ago, her film, 36 Chowringhee Lane had won the Kodak award for best cinematography in the same fest.

The Shashi Kapoor production was then hailed as a precursor to English language films made in India. Bringing an exclusive feminine sensibility, Aparna had translated on screen, the poignancy of old age as also post-modernist opportunism.

Aparna, the beady eyed Bengali who began her career as a child artiste in the legendary Satyajit Ray's Sampati, graduated to acting in Bengali films in the 60s. She won appreciation for her performances in Akash Kusum, Raag Anurag, Memsaheb Ekanto Apan, among others. In Hindi cinema she was noticed in Vishwas and Imaan Dharam.

The girl who grew up with the poetry of Swinburne and Wordsworth, turned storyteller with films like Sati, Picnic, Yuganto, Calcutta, The Undying City, Paromitr Ek Din and Paroma.

 


In her latest venture Mr & Mrs Iyer, produced by Rupali Mehta, Aparna has cast Rahul Bose (as a Bengali Raja Chaudhary) and daughter Konkana Sen Sharma (as a Tamil Brahmin). 'Its a love story in the time of violence ... It is a film about how relationships grow when people are thrown together and when they go away it leaves them richer,' says Aparna. By making Mr & Mrs Iyer in the English language, Aparna says that she is 'trying to reach the English-speaking audience here and abroad.'

Actor Rahul Bose (right) and Aparna Senís daughter Konkana have played the title roles in Mr & Mrs Iyer
Actor Rahul Bose (right) and Aparna Senís daughter Konkana have played the title roles in Mr & Mrs Iyer

The filmmaker, who feels that, 'films should sell, even as they entertain,' is confident that the award will ease the film's marketing. The film is scheduled for a December release in India.

The actress who was listed among the 100 best looking Indian women of the century and is also the decade-old editor of Sananda, Bengal's popular women's glossy, says completing a film is, 'like getting a daughter married.'

Her father, Chidananda Das Gupta, the famous film critic, writer and director, once said about his daughter, 'My best production is Aparna Sen.' He couldn't have been more precise.

ó Leisure Media News

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