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Gautam Ghosh'Yatra' to be released in mid February
23rd Jan 2007  10.22 IST
By Agencies  

Film-maker Gautam Ghosh is confident that his magnum opus, 'Yatra' starring Rekha and Nana Patekar , will pass the censor hurdle after being held back for three months, and be commercially released by the middle of February.

The Censor Board did not clear the film after its international and national premiers as the Animal Welfare Board had objected to the depiction of a caged bird in a scene, which has Nana and Dipti Naval , essaying the role of husband and wife.

Ghosh said, he was unaware of the rule against depiction of birds in cages.

"The scene of a caged bird referred to a situation three decades ago and was a flashback sequence of the writer couple's life. This was not uncommon or illegal in those days. But we respect the rules," Ghosh said in Kolkata on Monday.

"The issue has been sorted out between my producer and the Animal Welfare Board. A legal solution has been worked out and I understand the film can now be released by the middle of next month," the director said.

The film's producer, SPS Arts, exchanged prolonged correspondence with the Board maintaining that deletion of the scene would make the film incomplete, before a solution was finally found.

The film, centering around an acclaimed writer (Nana) and part-fictional, part-real 'tawaif' Lajwanti ((Rekha), is basically an inward voyage of the writer, Ghosh said.

Yatra, which was world premiered at the prestigious Montreal festival as the only official Indian entry last September, will travel to the Rotterdam Film Festival as a special entry from India shortly.

The film has received rave reviews at the Film Festival of India in Goa.

Asked why Yatra was made in Hindi, the director of 'Paar' said, the way the whole episode evolved - the subject, the characters and the setting - necessitated that it could be made only in a language like Hindi.

Ghosh, however, conceded that it would also help to reach a wider audience.

He said he had selected Rekha and Nana for the film because while Rekha fully gelled with the mystic aura of Lajwanti, Nana was a perfect choice for the brooding, mercurial writer.

"Deepti was also a very sensitive person who got under the skin of the character."

The film, the fourth Hindi venture by the director, is expected to be followed by an ambitious Indo-Italian collaboration about the tale of a little child. It would be jointly directed by Ghosh and S Scapagnini.

He was also was set to direct a Bengali feature film by the middle of this year.

"Yatra, and to some extent the few recent other films 'Dekha (in Bengali), Abar Aryane (Bengali), are all centred on the inward journey of the individual. This time it will be a continuation of the journey, but an outward one.

Ghosh, who has also returned to television, is currently busy capturing the tumultuous college campus days of the 60s, in the Bengali work 'Kalbela' based on the Academy award winning novel of Bengali writer Samresh Majumder.

It would initially be serialised on Doordarshan.

Ghosh said that Doordarshan authorities had asked film personalities to direct serials in their own language.

"So I opted for Kalbela as I am emotionally attached with those times. I can feel the turbulence in their minds, the energy within and their dreams."

The eight to nine episodes would be later edited into a two and a half hour feature film, he said.

This would be the director's second serial for DD after 20 years and the third considering the Silk Route travel-documentary on Discovery.

Gautam Ghosh
Nana Patekar

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