Prantik Basu’s Rang Mahal selected for the 69th Berlin International Film Festival

Prantik Basu’s short film Rang Mahal (Palace of Colour), has been selected in the International Competition Berlinale Shorts section at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, which will take place from 7-17 February 2019.

Rang Mahal is in the Santhali language and explores the unique relationship of the Santhali people with nature and culture. The film has been produced by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) and was screened at the Open Frame Film Festival last year.

Congratulating the filmmaker on the film’s selection, Rajiv Mehrotra, producer and commissioning editor – Rang Mahal and managing trustee, PSBT said, “Kudos to Prantik Basu for a simple, elegant and powerful film that reminds us that there is no single reality, no one truth. It documents and brings alive the diverse oral narratives of the Santhali community, that still survives, about our origins and that of the universe that goes back thousands of years, to the ancient pre-Aryan period. The film counters a growing global culture, not the least in India, that nurtures a unidimensional certitude, glorifying an idealised past.”

He added, “For the PSBT team and me, it is another proud moment as our films, made on modest budgets of around USD 6000 (Rs4 lakh) compete with the best in the world. We win an award for every two to three films we produce, and there are two film festival selections for each – our films have won more than 300 awards from over 1,700 film festival selections by juries around the world.”

Basu studied film direction at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. He has been a film fellow at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and has served as a guest faculty for student film projects at the State Institute of Film & TV, Rohtak.

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His short film Sakhisona won the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and has been screened at several festivals worldwide including Edinburgh, BFI London, IndieLisboa, Brakhage Center Symposium, Colorado and Image Forum, Japan. He received the Hubert Bals Fund for the development of his first fiction feature film Dengue in 2018, which is currently in pre-production. His ongoing work attempts to engage with the politics of gender and the relationship between nature and human.

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