KONKONA SEN SHARMA Brings Directorial Debut A DEATH IN THE GUNJ to TIFF
WORLD PREMIERE: Sept 10, 1:15pm at Elgin Winter Garden
Christmas, 1979. A young man, Shutu (Vikrant Massey- Lootera, Dil Dhadakne Do), finds himself at a crossroads in life, struggling under the weight of both familial and societal expectations, and unsure of what to do next. Seeking a break from his troubles, Shutu joins his cousin’s family for a fateful holiday.
A DEATH IN THE GUNJ is the writing and directing debut of award winning actress Konkona Sen Sharma (Talvar, Mr. & Mrs. Iyer) who weaves well drawn characters and the remote McCluskiegunj setting into an atmospheric coming of age story drawn from her own childhood memories of an eventful holiday in the quaint, gently deteriorating former Anglo-Indian village.
A stellar ensemble cast brings these compelling personalities to life as Shutu navigates family (Om Puri, Tillotama Shome) love (Kalki Koechlin) and expectations (Tanuja Mukherjee, Ranvir Shorey) in this eerie and dramatic tale.
Although set in the late 1970s, the film’s universal themes and basic character truths can easily take place in the present day. The mainly English language dialogue, characteristic of this class of Indian society, only serves to underscore the sharedness of the human condition.
A DEATH IN THE GUNJ was produced Abhishek Chaubrey (director of Udta Punjab) and Honey Trehan (arguably India’s top casting director), who were instrumental in helping Konkona bring this personal project to the screen.