Roam Rome Mein: Tannishtha Chatterjee’s directorial debut bags the Asian Star award

18 films from India at Busan International Film Festival 2019


October 14, 2019

/ By / Kolkata

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Indian movies are not only making great noise at the international film festivals but are also gaining accolades and recognition at the international level.

Indian female directors are making their mark and gaining huge visibility globally through the international film festivals with movies like Bombay Rose, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare and The Sky Is Pink. Actress-turned-director Tannishtha Chatterjee has joined the bandwagon with her directorial debut Roam Rome Mein which premiered at 24th Busan International Film Festival’s (BIFF) ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’ strand. This year eighteen films from India belonging to wide-range and exciting genres and regional themes are at BIFF with many being international or world premieres.

“I have been observing that over the past few years, our films are getting recognition in A-list film festivals. We see a significant number of representations from India. These films tell interesting stories and many of these films come from female filmmakers. I think there is change in a positive direction,” said Chatterjee to an Indian news agency.

The film Roam Rome Mein revolves around an Indian man Raj, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who travels to Rome looking for his missing sister, Reena (played by Chatterjee herself). In the process he meets some magical characters who take him through his own journey of self realisation and make him question his own deep rooted patriarchal beliefs and his oppressive family structure.

She describes her directorial Roam Rome Mein as “a feminist film with a male protagonist”. “I have been toying with the idea for a while. I wanted to go deep into the protagonist’s patriarchal psyche by putting him in a situation that is life changing. I thought let me traumatise a patriarch and shift something in him,” she says.

The movie also features Valentina Corti, Isha Talwar, Francesco Apolloni, UrBano Barberini, Pamela Villoresi and Andrea Scarduzio in key roles.

The actress-director has won the Asian Star Award for her movie at the BIFF where films from different Asian nations including India, Japan, China, Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are showcased and celebrated. This year seven Indian movies were screened at the festival. The honour was given jointly by Marie Claire and Busan International Film Festival in the presence of the cast and producers of the film.

Siddiqui who could not attend the event, took to twitter to congratulate Chatterjee and the team for its achievement.

Excited at receiving the honour, Chatterjee said in a statement, “It was already a huge moment to have Roam Rome Mein, my debut feature as a director, in one of the biggest festivals in the world in official selection. On top of this, to win the Asia Star award, is just the icing on the cake. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Talking a little more about her film, Chatterjee added, “When we were shooting for Lion, Nawaz and I thought of doing something together. The kind of cinema we would like to watch. That’s how Roam Rome Mein started ideating in my mind. Then Ravi Walia came on board as a producer and Ridhima Lulla from Eros loved the idea. And we made the film. Today we all are thrilled that we are having a world premiere in Busan”

She also said that the rise in digital technology has helped many filmmakers to celebrate innovative storytelling. “Shooting a film is not expensive anymore, so many storytellers have gained the confidence to experiment, which in turn opens the doors for new stories and budding talents to come out fearlessly,” she said.

“Look at Rima Das (the National award-winning director of Village Rockstars and Bulbul Can Sing), who made two absolutely delightful films that have been celebrated at international film festivals and have received appreciation from the global audience. She did everything by herself – from writing and shooting her films to editing them. It is a joy to see women filmmakers getting much-deserved visibility,” added Tannishtha.

After a great premiere and win at Busan International Film Festival, Roam Rome Mein is all set to be screened at 14th Rome Film Fest which will run from October 17-27.

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