Mumbai: Irfana Majumdar’s debut Hindi feature, Shankar’s Fairies to have its World Premiere at the 74th Locarno Film Festival in the competition section, Concorso Cineasti del Presente, which showcases 15 features (first and second) by emerging global talents.
The film produced by Nita Kumar Productions will have its premiere screening on August 13 at the prestigious film festival held in person from August 4 to 14 in Locarno, Switzerland. The film gala had gone digital for its 2020 edition owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Set in 1962 Lucknow in a newly independent and idealistic India that is still class-bound and exploitative, the film tells the story of Shankar, a village man with a gift for storytelling who brings up a police officer’s daughter while far away from his own family.
Based on the childhood memories of her mother Nita Kumar and shot in her ancestral home, it’s a personal film for the director Irfana Majumdar. The core team includes her mother, Nita Kumar (writer, producer, and production designer of the film), and husband, Gaurav Saini (associate and casting director, actor). Irfana also made her acting debut in a prominent role in the film along with Jaihind Kumar, Shreeja Mishra, Adwik Mathur, and Gaurav Saini.
Excited about the Locarno Premiere the debutante director-actor says, “This is an intimate film, about the almost-unnoticed moments of life that shape us and our choices. We are tremendously excited for the film to be opening at Locarno and for people from around the world to watch it.”
The writer-producer-production designer of the film Nita Kumar says, “My own life was shaped by Shankar….I believe all children are influenced by stories, images and treasure the adults who share their imaginations with them.”
The film was part of the prestigious 2019 Film Bazaar’s Work-In-Progress Lab and NFDC Film Bazaar Goes to Cannes at 2020 Marche Du Film