Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, April 18: A 28-minute short film made by a Darjeeling youth who studied at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in Calcutta is set to be screened at the Cannes film festival.
Saurav Rai, who is from Bara Mangwa near Darjeeling, has named his film Gudh (Nest). Till now, it is the only film from India to be accepted by the cinefondation section of the Cannes festival that encourages budding filmmakers to showcase their work.
Gudh is based on Rai’s childhood experiences.
“The film is the recollection of my childhood memories and my confusions,” Rai said.
Rai, 30, is now based in Delhi and is working on a travelogue.
“When the hills were witnessing the statehood agitation in 1986, my family and I had to leave Bara Mangwa, about 40km from Darjeeling, first for Dharan and then for Kathmandu in Nepal. I grew up with my grandfather in Kathmandu and was away from my parents, who returned to the hills. Living away from my parents sowed the seeds of confusion in my life then,” Rai said.
“I attended Mount Valley School in Kathmandu. Later, I studied in a school in Kalimpong where I failed thrice. I was then sent back to my village and from there, I went to Teesta Bridge High School,” Rai added.
Rai joined St. Joseph’s College (North Point) in Darjeeling as a student of mass communication and journalism and started making films.
“My experiences and observations from my village days helped me make my film,” he said.
Till date, Rai has made eight short films, seven documentaries and three music videos.
In 2013, he was invited to Beijing to make documentaries on specific topics. In 2014, he was invited to the Munich Film Festival where his short film Barkhay Jhari (Monsoon Rain) was screened.
“I completed my film-making course this year. I will be leaving for Cannes on May 10,” said Rai.
The film festival will be held in France from May 11 to May 22.