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“Ek Betuke Aadmi Ki Afrah Raatein” : A Film inspired by Indian Writer Munshi Premchand and Russian Novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Works

Sharad Raj, who was earlier associated with the television industry and has made two short films, is making his directorial debut with the indie drama titled "Ek Betuke Aadmi Ki Afrah Raatein"

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Indian writer Munshi Premchand
"Ek Betuke Aadmi Ki Afrah Raatein" : A Film inspired by Indian Writer Munshi Premchand and Russian Novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky's Works. Youtube
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  • Sharad Raj is making his directorial debut with the indie drama titled “Ek Betuke Aadmi Ki Afrah Raatein”
  • Overall, love is the essence of the film, for which Raj is raising Rs 26 lakh on creative crowdfunding platform Wishberry
  • Raj hopes the movie gets some visibility at film fests, and eventually a release

New Delhi, June 12, 2017: Indian writer Munshi Premchand’s “Binni” as well as Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky’s works “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man” and “White Dreams”, have inspired an independent film set in Uttar Pradesh.

Sharad Raj, who was earlier associated with the television industry and has made two short films, is making his directorial debut with the indie drama titled “Ek Betuke Aadmi Ki Afrah Raatein”.

About merging the worlds of Dostoevsky and Premchand, Raj told IANS: “Well, the two writers appear in two different parts. Hence, there was no attempt at immediate causal association.

ALSO READ: Second Bengal International Short Film Festival (BISFF) kicks-off with a rich roster of Regional, Foreign and Silent Films

“Both appealed to me thematically. Dostoevsky’s stories form the larger umbrella of the film. Premchand’s is a small episode. Actually, I was looking at deeper social connect for that part and got it from what I think is a rare Premchand story.”

Overall, love is the essence of the film, for which Raj is raising Rs 26 lakh on creative crowdfunding platform Wishberry.

“The film is in the backdrop of my home state of Uttar Pradesh and largely set in Lucknow, my home town. The film deals with the alienation of modern man in the times of rising violence, consumerism and capitalism,” Raj said in an email interview.

An alumnus of the Film Direction course at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) alumbus, he says adapting from literary works “seems to come naturally” to him.

“Right from my FTII Diploma film to my two short features, adaptation has come to my rescue. What I do is take the basic plot or the idea of the story and then reinterpret it according to my needs.

“I take the soul, you can say, if I identify with a story and then give it the body I want to. Also what interests me is the relationship a written text can have with an audio-visual text. Trying to grapple with it gives me the form for the film,” he explained.

Raj hopes the movie gets some visibility at film fests, and eventually a release. For the moment, he knows he “cannot expect a producer belonging to a capital intensive system to put in money in a film like mine or any other film of the same ilk”.

So, crowdfunding, he agrees, is “one way to assure creative autonomy”.

As far as quality of content on the small screen world is concerned, he has one word: “Abysmal”.

“Have you ever seen a really big chain, fine dining restaurant survive in a food court,” he asked, pointing out how once in while a good show comes along, but the phase passes sooner than one knows.

He says Mumbai’s survival pangs landed him into television.

“I got instant success as a creative director, got seduced by all the money and glamour, until I realised I have lost myself completely. And the introspection that followed, the answers to all my queries was to make a film.” (IANS)

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Welcome the new Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Anupam Kher

Actor Kabir Bedi said Anupam “would do wonders” in his new role

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Veteran actor Anupam Kher. Wikimedia

Pune, October 11, 2017 : Anupam Kher, an actor with a repertoire of over 500 movies including international projects, was named Chairman of the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. The film industry hailed the move.

Official sources confirmed Anupam’s appointment. He will succeed the controversial Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment had triggered student protests.

Anupam’s wife Kirron Kher, an actress and BJP MP from Chandigarh, told Times NOW: “I’m very happy. Of course, it’s a challenging job for anybody. It’s not going to be an easy job. These chairmanships are crown of thorns. Here, people do get against you, but I am sure Anupam will be able to take them along because he is an extremely talented person.”

Anupam, who began his acting career with “Saaransh” in 1984, also has his own acting institute Actor Prepares.

Kirron said Anupam was the right choice to head the FTII, which provides training in acting, direction and other technical aspects of film making in a country which is one of the largest producers of movies.

ALSO READ Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune to Screen Films Made by its Alumni from August 5

“My husband is a very fine actor. He has been in the film industry for so many years. He is very capable of (being FTII head).

“He has been teaching acting for so long. He is the only person who earlier headed CBFC, then National School of Drama and now has been appointed Chairman of FTII.

“So, I am a very proud wife today. I would like to thank the government and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry,” she said.

Asked what she meant by ‘crown of thorns’, she said: “I meant the CBFC, not FTII.”

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: “Heartiest congratulations to Anupam Kher for being appointed as the Chairman of FTII.”

Filmmaker Pritish Nandy called it an “excellent change” at FTII. “Finally, the government is listening to us.”

Actor Kabir Bedi said Anupam “would do wonders” in his new role. (IANS)