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A Story to Tell March 23, 2014

Publication: The Tribune- Life+Style

By Mona

Noted film director Amit Dutta hails his alma mater for giving him the chance to experiment, fail and learn...

Life unfolds in strange ways or so they say. Absolutely true about our country’s leading experimental film-maker Amit Dutta. Decoding whatever intrigued him in his growing years, Amit enjoyed reading James Joyce. Watching films never was a significant part of his growing years, the nearest cinema hall being 45 kilometres away from his hometown, a small village near Jammu.
Call it chance or destiny, a friend gifted Amit a book in Bengali (confused by his surname). Omega Constellation Double Eagle Replica Not wanting to be rude, Amit accepted the gift he couldn’t read! It was in that book that the only few words that were in English introduced him to Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. “I was bewildered seeing the syllabus recommended for the first-year and second. Is there a place that teaches all this, I wondered,” A.Lange & Sohne Replica recalls Amit, sitting on a bench at Government Museum and Art Gallery-10, where he is for the three-day Cinema and Art Festival, organised by the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, on Saturday afternoon. Along with his friends, Amit prepared to sit in the entrance test. Although he was prepared to take two-three attempts to crack it, he made it in first go.
Thereafter began a new journey. “The more you are exposed to the world, the more is the urge to explore your roots,” says Amit. The relationship between art and history has been the theme for his films; Kangra miniature paintings occupying a significant part of it. “I had heard about Nainsukh in sayings, but couldn’t really decipher what, who, when and where,” admits Amit. But this master painter had to come alive hundreds of years later through this another son of soil! Patek Philippe Replica While exploring art history as a subject, Nainsukh’s reference came again and again — through his professor Suresh Chabria’s lecture or while reading Tagore. Still, Amit had no intentions of making a film on him.
However, it was his professor who put him in touch with art historian Eberhard Fischer and the film Nainsukh came into being. “I took a tour with Dr Fischer to all the places where Nainsukh had a connection. We went from Guler, Nurpur to Jasrota, where he lived and worked. It is quite close to the place where I grew up. Interestingly, it took a foreigner to connect me to my roots. Suddenly, I could put meaning to the ruins that were part of my childhood.”
Amit acknowledges the contribution of Eberhard Fischer and BN Goswami, who had done considerable work before he took on his project. The film, which premiered at the 67th Venice Film Festival, won accolades and awards at several major international festivals. Amit revisited the area with his film The Seventh Walk that is inspired from artist Paramjit Singh’s works. Amit is one private film-maker who doesn’t want his persona to interfere with the audience’s experience of his works. He fiercely guards his privacy and is far from the tribe of film-makers for whom their works mean material gratification.
“It’s the experience that I want to pass on,” says Amit. Nature finds expression in his films; it’s the story of a man and nature that he yearns to tell next.
mona@tribunemail.com
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