Chitra Palekar’s directorial debut at 59

Mumbai: Chitra Palekar’s debut directorial venture Maatimaay shall be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival that will be held from September 7-16. Debuting as a producer director and and screenplay writer at the age of 59, Chitra Palekar’s maiden venture is based upon a story, Daayen by Jnanpith award winning writer Mahashweta Devi.

Talking about the film she says, “The film tells the story of a woman who is labelled a witch and is condemned to the fringes of society. Though the story of the film is set five decades back, I haven’t made any changes since things haven’t really changed for women in India even in present day. My film is about the social system. How society’s ignorance, superstitions and basic insensitivity condemns a woman to a life of loneliness and misery. The only redeeming factor in her life is her son whom she doesn’t want to lead the same life.”

Nandita Das is making her marathi film debut with Maatimaay. Her co-star in the film is Atul Kulkarni. Incidentally, Das has spoken her own marathi dialogues in the film. When quizzed Palekar why she chose to make her film in marathi, she replied, “The story concept is universal and I am comfortable in Marathi. I feel regional languages add a special element to such stories and nowadays one can always have the liberty of adding English subtitles for other regions”.

Chitra is ex-wife of actor director Amol Palekar and has been associated with many Amol Palekar projects in the past. She had written screenplays of Thodasa Roomani Ho Jayen and Dhyasparva. She had also co-scripted Bangarwadi and also acted and produced Akriet. She has also been associate director and scriptwriter for Kairee and scripted Daayra.

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Abhijit Mhamunkar

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