Srijit Mukherji’s film, ‘Gumnaami’, based on the book, ‘Conundrum’, on Netaji’s disappearance mystery, bagged two national awards in the feature film category of the 67th National Film Awards this year, when the nation is celebrating Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary.
Srijit pointed out that ‘Gumnaami’, which had been adjudged the Best Bengali Film, raised “thorny questions” and “pushed for awareness of an issue that had been a lot talked about in a unidimensional way for a long time”. “This award was supposed to be announced last year but got delayed due to Covid-19. ‘Gumnaami’ has transcended the cinema screen and turned the issue of our national hero into public discussion to become a part of the social, political and historical consciousness. It made us question whether we have honoured the man’s legacy beyond having a Netaji Research Bureau that comes up with facts and books, which we know,” he said.
While ‘Gumnaami’ and Kaushik Ganguly’s ‘Jyeshthoputro’ —both starring Prosenjit Chatterjee—won two screenplay awards in the feature film category, Prabuddha Banerjee’s background score for ‘Jyeshthoputro’ received national recognition. According to Prabuddha, background score is as “important and painstaking” as a film’s editing, sound design and art design in the post-production stage. “All reputed music directors in the world are known for their background score. Most of them barely got the opportunity to composing songs in a movie. This shows the importance of background score. I have been fighting for the importance of background music in our cinema. The award will encourage me to keep the fight on,” he said.
Awards in the non-feature film category also have a strong Bengal connect. Sudhanshu Saria won the Best Direction award for his 38-minute English/Bengali short film, ‘Knock Knock Knock’, starring Shantilal Mukherjee. While Shantanu Sen’s ‘Water Burial’ won the Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation, Farah Khatoon’s ‘Holy Rights’ on triple talaq shared the award for Best Film on Social Issues. “This award inspires me to choose bold subjects in future,” Farah said. Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute’s production, ‘Oru Paathiraa Swapnam Pole’, won the Best Film on Family Values. Bauddhayan Mukherji won his first National Award for ‘The Shower’, adjudged the Best Promotional Film in the non-feature film category. “The award turned sweeter when my septuagenarian mother hugged me. That meant more than a thousand words,” Bauddhayan said. Arjun Gourisaria has won the award for Best Editing in non-feature category for ‘Shut Up Sona’. Saptarshi Sarkar was honoured as the Best On-Location Sound Recordist for ‘Rahas’.
While Kaushik has been adjudged the Best Screenplay writer (original), Srijit has been recognized for the Best Screenplay writer (adapted). The screenplay of ‘Jyeshthoputro’ was initially caught in a controversy over credit issues. But the issues were sorted and Ganguly made the film as his tribute to director Rituparno Ghosh. “I am not thinking about the controversy. I am glad I could do justice to Rituparno’s idea. I am dedicating my award to Ritu-da,” Kaushik said. Srijit believed the awards in the screenplay category would give due respect to writers in the industry. “Screenplay is the spine of the film. For an adapted screenplay, the responsibility increases for the amount of information that is there in the original text,” he said.
Source: Times of India