Locarno Open Doors: Sourav Sarangi’s CHAR, THE ISLAND WITHIN

Locarno Open Doors will be held alongside the 64th Locarno International Film Festival from August 6-9, 2011. Open Doors 2011 that focuses on India has selected 12 projects for its co-production lab. Sourav Sarangi’s Char, The Island Within is one of them. His documentary Bilal won the National Award for Best Non-Feature Film in 2010. In the sixth in the series, DearCinema brings to you details about the filmmaker and the project, in the words of the filmmaker:

Locarno Open Doors: Sourav Sarangi’s CHAR, THE ISLAND WITHINMany moons ago a deluge with fishes and tortoises descended from heaven called river Ganga!

Today the river acts as the international border between India and Bangladesh.

Rubel lives on this border. His family shifted to a tiny and fragile island called CHAR within the river after their home got eroded years back. The fourteen years kid smuggles rice to survive by crossing the border.

In summer, wind blows strong in this changing landscape, the clouds roll and monsoon arrives. And at some distance stands the colossal barrage built by India. The grand plan did not help Rubel; he lost his home to the hungry tides of the river goddess.

Rubel dreams to join a school across the river. And live in the mainland where cars move on gas and electric lamps burn much brighter.

I travel with Rubel to the cracking edge of the island. Will Char erode too?  This is what my project CHAR, THE ISLAND WITHIN which is under production now, is about.

At Locarno co-production lab, I wish to meeting industry professionals and explore co-production opportunities for this project.

After graduating from the Presidency College, Kolkata, I joined the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune specializing in editing.

My debut film ‘TUSUKATHA’ (1997) received accolades from many leading international film festivals. It is an observational film representing traditional Indian rural life of women engaged with harvesting and related ritual called Tusu.

Since then I have been editing, writing, directing and producing in both fiction and nonfiction genres, and have also been teaching in various film schools.

Currently I am involved in international co-productions as an independent producer and director. My recent award winning work is an international co-production documentary titled ‘BILAL’. The film is based on observations about a three year old kid growing up with blind parents in Kolkata. BILAL travelled over fifty international festivals winning fifteen top awards. It also won the National Award  for Best Non-Feature Film in 2010.

I have worked as the chief editor in an Indo-Italian co-production in Rome and Naples. I have also extensively worked in private television channels in India as chief programming director. I’ve supported and executed a number of productions on popular entertainment as well as social issue films which are still considered important works in regional television industry.

I have also served as jury in international film festivals.

Source: Dear Cinema


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