The admirers of Rituparno Ghosh are in for a treat during the ongoing lockdown as an acclaimed feature film on the celebrated Indian film-maker will be telecast on the OTT platform Zee5 on April 15.
The film, 'A Tribute to Rituparno Ghosh: Season’s Greetings', directed by Ram Kamal Mukherjee, marks the return of Bollywood actress Celina Jaitly, who had taken a break from acting after her marriage a few years ago. The film revolves around a mother and daughter relationship, that ends with a twist. Veteran actor Lillette Dubey plays the role of mother, while Celina plays the role of the daughter. Debutant actor Azhaar Khan plays the role of Celina's boyfriend, while transgender actor Shree Ghatak plays the role of Chapala, the house help.
The film has been critically acclaimed at various national and International Film Festivals including the prestigious Cardiff International Film Festival and Rajasthan International Film Festival early this year. Speaking about the film director, Ram Kamal Mukherjee says, "I thank Tarun Katiyal and Jay Pandya from Zee5 for showing faith in my vision. They have always selected unique content and I am glad that my film will be a part of their Short Film Festival. Poila Baishak (Bengali New Year) is an auspicious day for us, and since the film is set in Kolkata and pays tribute to Bengal's most loved filmmaker, this is the best time to release the film."
Produced by Aritra Das and Shailendra Kumar under the banner of Assorted Motion Pictures and SS1 Entertainment respectively, the film has been shot extensively in Kolkata. It has music by Shailendra Sayanti and marks the debut of Kumar Sanu's son Jaan Kumar Sanu as a playback singer. Two other tracks are rendered by Sayani Palit and Sarbani Mukherjee.
Incidentally, the first look of the film was launched by Bollywood stalwart Amitabh Bachchan and then the film travelled across the globe at various festivals and seminars.
Producer Aritra Das says, "I am overwhelmed because this will be our second release. It takes a lot to make a feature and then release it on the right platform. Though the time is gloomy and people are locked down at home, I feel that this film will bring smile to their faces."
Initially, the producers had planned a grand premiere of the film in Mumbai and Kolkata, but keeping the safety and social distancing in mind due to coronavirus pandemic, they decided to go digital with the entire promotion.
Celina Jaitly, who is currently living with her husband and kids in Austria, was overwhelmed with the news. She says, "I thank Zee5 and my director Ram Kamal for making this wonderful film. I trusted Ram Kamal and his way of storytelling. This is a very special one for all of us, and I am sure Rituda (Rituparno Ghosh) will be happy with this homage. When we were filming this one, we would have never imagined that a mutant flu virus could sabotage the pre-release promotions. Life is unpredictable, but we have decided to continue to see the promise of spring in depth of winters and are sure our film will be exactly what you need to keep your spirits entertained in this global lockdown."
Talking about the film, Aparna Acharekar, programming head, Zee5 India says, "We are extremely happy to have author turned filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee's Hindi feature film premiering exclusively on Zee5. We are happy to announce that Season’s Greetings will be a part of Zee5 Short Film Festival, with eight other distinctive films across genres that will be released on April 15 as well. Season’s Greetings deals with human emotions, interwoven with many contemporary social aspects which one needs to address and has powerful performances by Celina Jaitly Haag and Lillette Dubey.