Kolkata, 29 January 2018: Actress Chandni Saha, who essayed lead roles in Bengali soaps like Bene Bou, Bindi and is playing Snake-Goddess in new soap Manasha, made her short film debut with Samman Roy’s psychological thriller Aastha. The film features her in the central role of Aastha, a strong working married woman. Joy Banerjee is playing the character of Soumya, who is Aastha’s husband. Sharonyo Banerjee is playing the friend of Soumya.
Aastha has been shown at various International Film Festivals and will be launched soon on YouTube. We caught up with the director to know more about the film, why he cast Chandni in lead role and why people should watch his film.
Speaking about the base of the film, Samman said, “It’s a psychological thriller. We have tried to touch upon the dark side of the human mind and also the various crude notions of our society about gender roles like how we see men and women in a certain way.”
“Aastha was screened as “official selection” at Barcelona Planet Film Festival, Spain in September and also at 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival in November. It also won “Special Jury Mention” at Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival (KSIFF) in July. Some more festivals are left which are scheduled in the coming months,” he added.
When we asked Samman to throw light on Aastha’s character and what made him cast Chandni in the title role, he shared, “Aastha is a working lady and she is also a married woman, who is supporting her husband’s dream of pursuing singing as a career. She is a reflection of today’s youth who knows how to be self-sufficient yet balance work with family.”
“Chandni has a very strong personality. She comes across as a strong independent woman which was also the characteristic trait of Aastha. Moreover, she has a very easy going screen presence and after the festival screenings also people have praised her natural acting.”
When quizzed why people should watch his film to which he replied, “I don’t know what people will take away from this movie in particular. They can walk away with multiple thoughts. We have tried to incorporate quite a few themes in the film. There’s commentary about today’s generation, who are going through an existential crisis after the digital boom. People know that they don’t want to stick to mundane, boring jobs but they are not sure what the alternative is… There’s commentary about the stigmas associated with working women, how the society is progressing in one sense, but it still holds on to some archaic patriarchal ideas. And, lastly about the human mind, how it grapples between right and wrong choices.”
“It’s barely fifteen minutes long, so anyone can sneak out a little time to watch it, maybe while returning from office or before going to bed after a hard day’s work. I think they’ll find something to ponder upon, in this otherwise fast moving life,” he added.
Aastha is Samman’s first professional work as a director. Earlier, he had made a couple of student shorts.
The film is releasing on 16 February on the YouTube channel of Innokrea Motion Pictures.
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