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Software Engineer turned filmmaker makes it to Bollywood!

Most people we come across everyday live quite ordinary and predictable lives. Our education, career path and even success in life appears to be linked to our families, upbringing, situations etc. making it almost impossible for many to even try getting out of their ‘zone’ and fly free towards their true calling. Here we are talking about someone who actually did it, and did it rather well!

sree2Born in Kolkata, Sreemoyee Bhattacharya showed artistic inclination at a tender age which would later become her passion. An accomplished poet, writer of ‘Life in a Metro’ a book of poetry, founding editor of a yearly magazine (Ebro Khebro Rong) and All India radio performer, she graduated into film making when her job with an IT consultancy firm (TCS) took her to UK. With a desire to tell stories and step into world cinema, she completed a Director’s diploma (April 2012-March 2013) from Raindance Film School, London.

Her first breakthrough came in May 2013, when her debut short film Shadows was screened in the famed Festival de Cannes, and she was just 27! If this amazes you, the story of the making of the 17-minute film is even more fascinating. Sreemoyee first completed writing the story and then found her entire crew members through advertisements. Once the team was together, the film was shot by the end of March 2013.

For one month, she had to juggle her regular office and the 4-hour shooting, drastically compromising on sleep and suffer lengthy train commutes. Submitting the film for Cannes wasn’t really planned before-hand, hence the post-production work began only a week before the deadline, but was somehow completed in time.

Shadows, produced by Stone Empire Films, is a romantic thriller. The film revolves around Helena, the protagonist, a single mother who struggles with her past and any type of relationship. She is unable to let go of her past. This film very subtly and brilliantly shows her struggle with her childhood and surviving in this modern world. The film was later shown in San Jose International Short Film Festival. British Council, Kolkata and Bangalore felicitated her and her British film was screened there for a select audience. The film won the Critic choice Best Film and Best Director award in Cinemela Short Film Festival, Kolkata. The film got a special screening in Bangalore International Short Film Festival. The success story was published in many leading newspapers including Anandabazar Patrika and Times of India.

Making Shadows had taken a toll on Sreemoyee’s pocket, but the success in Cannes gave her the confidence to tell more stories through her camera. Watch it here:

 

Her second short film – Veil, is a story of a young boy who is entering his adulthood. He fantasizes about the lady tenant. Soon he discovers that his fantasies, his lust, his expectations are separated from reality by a thin veil. This piece was inspired by a Bengali narrative, Dehodaan, by Swapnomoy Chakraborty.

This film was selected for Cannes Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Kerala Film Festival and Chicago South Asian Film Festival. It won Best Screenplay Award in Bangalore Miniboxoffice International Short Film Festival, 2nd Best film award in Bangalore International Short Film Festival, HBO Best Short Film Award, Audience Choice Award in New York  South Asian Film Festival and also got a Certificate of Excellence in Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival. Watch it here:

 

Her third short film – All characters are Fictitious, has been completed but not yet released. It has won the Special Jury award at Bangalore Miniboxoffice Short Film Festival and also got a Special festival mention award in Kolkata Short Film Festival.. You can watch the trailer here:

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The latest development is that Sreemoyee is currently working on a Bollywood project. This film is being produced by Drishyam Productions (which produced Masaan, Dhanak, Ankhon Dekhi and Waiting) under the working title Dehleez.

 

Even after achieving all this success, Sreemoyee believes she has a long way to go. Her journey has just begun and she is sculpting the culture of Indian short film into a multidimensional space, so that new filmmakers can see and experience our society and surrounding from different dimensions and bring their thoughts to life on screen.

InviteMyGuest was honored to host her at IIT Roorkee in 2015 during which her experience was overwhelming for us.

To invite her for an inspiring lecture, workshop, seminar or interactive session: Click “Invite” on her profile here.

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