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Janani's Juliet by Pankaj Rishi Kumar
(India's Official entry to the Oscar's)
(Tamil with English Subtitles, 53 Min)
Kausalya lost her husband (Shankar), when they were attacked by her own family. They had married against their families wishes. Deeply disturbed by a spate of honor killings in India, Indianostrum, a Pondicherry based theatre group sets out to introspect the implications of caste, class and gender. They adapt Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. What emerges in the process is a critical reflection and commentary of the contemporary Indian society where love struggles to survive.
About the Director
After graduating from the FTII Pune, India, in 1992, with a specialisation in Film Editing, Pankaj was assistant editor on Sekhar Kapur’s ‘Bandit Queen’. After editing numerous documentaries and TV serials, he made his first film Kumar Talkies. Subsequently, Pankaj has become a one-man crew producing, directing, shooting and editing his own films under the banner of Kumar Talkies. (Pather Chujaeri, The Vote, Gharat, 3 Men and a Bulb, Punches n Ponytails, Seeds of Dissent, In God’s Land, Two Flags & Janani’s Juliet). His films have been screened at film festivals all over the world. (Berlin, Rotterdam, Fribourg, Visions du reel, Busan, Mead, AFI, Yamagata) His latest documentary ‘Janani’s Juliet’ is India’s official entry for the Oscar’s. He has won grants from Hubert Bals, IFA, Jan Vrijman, AND (Korea), Banff, Majlis, Sarai and Pad.ma. Pankaj was awarded an Asia Society fellowship at Harvard Asia Centre (2003). He is an alumnus of Asian Film Academy (Pusan) and Berlin Talents (2016). Pankaj also curates and teaches. (kumartalkies.blogspot.in)