Shyam Benegal’s ‘Welcome to Sajjanpur’ to vie at London film fest

September 15th, 2008 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 15 (IANS) Veteran director Shyam Benegal’s latest offering “Welcome to Sajjanpur” is set to be screened at the forthcoming London Film Festival (LFF), a UTV official said.The movie will be screened in the competition section on World Cinema at the fortnight-long festival starting Oct 15, he added. A UTV Spotboy presentation, the LFF screening will also mark the movie’s Britain and European premiere. The film is being released in India Sep 19.

A comedy, “Welcome to Sajjanpur” is a satirical take on the reality of the contemporary rural India, especially on the government’s much-vaunted literacy drive. Shreyal Talpade, Ravi Kishen, Divya Dutta and Amrita Rao essay the key roles in the movie.

Benegal, who is better known for his thought-provoking serious movies, takes a detour and tells a light-hearted delightful tale in the movie. He recently said he was inspired to make the movie by a unit hand, a light man of his own production unit.

“Some time back the light man, who had never gone to school, got married to a girl who has some education. Since she lives in a village in UP and he in Mumbai, he would ask others to write letters on his behalf to his wife. That inspired me to weave a story around his new-found life,” Benegal said.

Commenting on the movie, UTV Spotboy’s Chief Operating Officer Vikas Bahl said: “It is the master director’s story-telling which is the highlight of the venture. It is at once poignant and hilarious.”

Some other Indian movies which are expected to make a mark in the festival include Nadita Das’ “Firaaq”, Santosh Sivan’s “Tahaan”, Ketan Mehta’s “Colours of Passion” and Shashank Ghosh’s “Quick Gun Murgan”.

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