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Interview: Academy Award Winner Megan Mylan on her Kolkata Film Festival Experience and more; Sholoana Bangaliana Exclusive

Oscar-winner-Megan-Mylan

Academy Award Winner Megan Mylan was in Kolkata for the screening of her documentary titled ‘After My Garden Grows’ at the 20th Kolkata International Film Festival. Sholoana Bangaliana correspondent engaged the American Documentary Film Maker over a candid chat at the Nandan premises. Excerpts from the conversation..

Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana-Welcome to our city Megan….So how is Kolkata treating you?

Megan Mylan-Oh!! It is a great experience. This is my first time in the city and with the film festival going on it looks like this is the only thing happening in the city.

What is the story of After My Garden Grows?

The story is about two sisters, Monica and Konica. It tells Monica’s story who is a sixteen year old girl. She is growing a vegetable garden. Her sister Konica was married at the age of sixteen and she had to leave school due to this reason. Monica’s parents are also looking for a suitable groom for her. She also had to leave school due to financial constraints. However due to her knowledge of organic farming, she is learning that she can have expectations and also not be forced to marry. Her parents understand that she is capable of doing more. Monica and her mother want a different path for her. Monica goes to the market to sell vegetables with her father. She gets twenty or thirty rupees for the vegetables, which may not be much. However you notice a change in the mindset of the people.

Are the issues of women empowerment and rights the primary theme of the story?

Yes, indeed (with a broad smile). Apart from the fact that the film focuses on organic gardening, it also raises important questions on the rights of women. The fact that the girl child is not a mere liability but an asset has been highlighted in this film. Girls should become aware of their rights and their potentials. They should understand when to marry, whom to marry, when to become a mother and so on.

Where in India did you shoot for the film? How was the experience of shooting the film in a place absolutely unknown to you?

We shot for the film in a village in Coochbehar. Landesa- rural development institute also helped me a lot in the shooting process in Coochbehar. I had a great time shooting for the film. I love what I do. It gives me a chance to lead someone else’s life and understand their problems. I was heartily welcomed by Monica’s family and I got to realize their issues. I will not say I understood every bit of the issues but in my small way I have tried my bit to showcase their life so as to bring about awareness.

Megan-Mylan-Interview

How was the response to After My garden Grows?

Oh the response was fabulous! The hall was packed with audience, which always gives a good vibe. Moreover, after the show was over, there were some really good questions put forth by the audience.

Be it the Academy Award Winning Film Smile Pinki, After My Garden Grows or Lost Boys of Sudan, you seem to have a fetish for making short films and documentaries on topical issues. What is the connection?

More than me selecting the topics, the topics choose me. I come from a background of social justice work. I have always been interested in these topics. Topics like poverty and human rights violation always interest me. You tell me a problem and I am always on the lookout for the most effective solution to the problem. I am an optimist and I believe that there is always a solution to a problem.

What is your next project?

My next project is a short film on how the new generation in Japan takes care of the elderly in the country.

Academy Award Winner Megan Mylan with her thought provoking stories has always tried to bring up issues that the society loves to shun and shove to oblivion and we Congratulate her for her efforts and hope to see more such unique stories come to life through the lenses of her camera.

Documentary Film Maker Megan Mylan Interviewed by:

Priyanka

Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.

1st Vivel Filmfare Awards East 2013 saw Tollywood and Bollywood Celebrate the Glory of Cinema Together

1st Vivel Filmfare Awards East

It was not the April heat that scorched the Red Carpet at the Science City but the stars that alighted from the Tollywood and Bollywood which sent the temperatures shooting. The 1st Vivel Filmfare Awards East 2013 brought the razzle dazzle to the event as it celebrated the biggest talents from the film industry in the East.

1st Vivel Filmfare Awards East

Sujoy Ghosh, Jishu Sengupta and June Malia took the centre-stage as the host of the eventful evening and filled the night with fun and great moments for the audience.

The audience witnessed the legendary Jaya Bachchan presenting the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary yesteryear actress Madhabi Mukherjee. Lilly Chakrabarty presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Late Suchitra Sen posthumously. It was accepted by her granddaughters Raima and Riya Sen. It was also an evening that saw Aparna Sen reminiscing the legendary actor, director & filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh.

1st Vivel Filmfare Awards East

Renowned actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, the dusky beauty of Orissa Archita Sahu, Zerifa Wahid and Srabonti performed on the night.

Here is the full list of winners

Kolkata:

  • Best Film- Chander Pahar
  • Best Director- Shibaprasad Mukhopadhyay & Nandita Roy, Film- Alikh Sukh
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male)- Ritwick Chakraborty, Film: Shobdo
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female)- Konkona Sen Sharma, Film: Goynaar Baksho
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male)- Indraneil Sengupta, Film- MIshwar Rawhoshyo
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)- Moushumi Chatterjee, Film Goynaar Baksho
  • Best Music Director- Jeet Ganguli, Film- Boss
  • Best Lyrics-Anindya Chattopadhyay- Film Alikh Sukh, Song: Raat Jaaye
  • Best Playback Singer Male- Arijit Singh, Song: Mon Majhi Re, Fim: Boss
  • Best Playback Singer Female- Anwesha Dutta Gupta, Song: Sara Din aar Sara raat, Film: Rupkatha Noy
  • Best Debut Director- Indraneil Roy Chowdhury, Film: Phoring
  • Best Debutant Female- Sohini Sarkar, Film- Rupkatha Noy, Phoring

Orissa

  • Best Film- Mu Eka Tumara
  • Best Director- Sushant Mani, Film- Mu Eka Tumara
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male)- Sabyasachi Mishra, Film- Mu Eka Tumara
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female)- Archita Sahu,  Film- Mu Eka Tumara

Assam

  • Best Film- Dwaar
  • Best Director- Pulak Gogoi, Film- Momtaaj
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male)- Kopil Bora, Film: Dwaar
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female)- Zerifa Wahid, Film- Dwaar

 

Critics Award

  • Best Film- Shobdo
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male)- Soumitro Chatterjee, Film: Rupkatha Noy
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female)- Rituparna Sengupta, Film- Alikh Sukh

 

Technical Awards:

 

  • Best Background Score– Prabudha Banerjee, Film- Phoring, Neel Adhikari, Film- Taasher Desh
  • Best Cinematographer- Samik Halder, Film-Meghe Dhaka Tara, Phoring
  • Best Choreography- Baba Yadav, Film- Boss
  • Best Production Design: Tanmoy Chakrabarty, Film Goynaar Baksho
  • Best Sound Design: Jojo & Dipankar, Film- Shobdo

 

About Filmfare Awards:

Established on March 21, 1953, Filmfare Awards is one of India’s oldest and most distinguished film institutions and has spanned generations of exceptional talent. From a small ceremony which featured just five awards,  the Filmfare Awards function has evolved into one of India’s most spectacular events, where the best of Indian cinema dance, host, and do what they do best – entertain. The Black Lady is something every cinephile aspires to take home.

 

 

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