February 25, 2024

Celebrated Indian filmmaker Rima Das is at the Busan International Film Festival‘s Asian Project Market with “Malati, My Love.”

Like all of Das’ previous films, “Malati, My Love” is set in Assam, eastern India. It will follow Apurva and Malati who are happily married and madly in love, unabashed by what people in their small town think. When an unfortunate incident turns their lives upside down, in hardship, just as in love, they refuse to conform to societal norms.

“As a filmmaker, I aspire to explore diverse narratives and storytelling techniques. Recently, I’ve been contemplating delving into the realm of love stories. “Malati, My Love” represents a tale of profound love and yearning. In contrast to my prior films, characterized by rawness, this project aims for a more intentional and designed approach. I aim to craft atmospheres that intricately unravel emotions,” Das told Variety. “Currently in the development stage, the film is gradually revealing its themes. Whether reflecting on our lives or the impact of the pandemic, the profound beauty of love has become evident. This film is a dedicated exploration of the multifaceted aspects of love.”

Das debuted with “Man with the Binoculars” (2016) and her credits also include “Village Rockstars” (2017), “Bulbul Can Sing” (2018) and “Tora’s Husband” (2022), for which she is nominated for best director at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

“Venturing into co-production opportunities at the developmental stage is a new endeavor for me, and I’m delighted that ‘Malati, My Love’ has secured a spot in Busan APM,” Das said. “Being Asia’s premier festival and a nexus for Asian cinema, it holds sentimental value for me as both ‘Bulbul Can Sing’ and ‘Tora’s Husband’ had their Asian premieres at Busan. The familiarity and sense of belonging are profound.”

Das is a renaissance woman of Indian cinema who writes, shoots, directs, edits and produces her own films. She produces via her Flying River Films and her films have been to more than 120 film festivals including Toronto and Berlin. “The realization has dawned on me that, as a solo producer, I can’t bear the weight of the film alone. Many independent films suffer from a lack of production value and promotion, whereas studio films have the means to expand the canvas, enhance visibility, and reach broader audiences. In search of prospective co-producers and collaborators, I aim to garner support for my creative vision and improve the project’s market presence. Excited to be here, I’m hopeful that positive outcomes will materialize,” Das said.

“Malati, My Love” is budgeted at $600,000 of which $100,000 has been raised. “I usually follow my instincts when making films. If I find a story interesting, I don’t wait for funds – I self-produce and start shooting. Now, I’m beginning to look for funds, and while the journey of my past films might help, each film has its own journey. I’m hopeful,” Das said.

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