(Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

After winning a flurry of awards and accolades for his first two films – Asha Jaoar Majhe (Labour of Love) and Jonaki, filmmaker Aditya Vikram Sengupta is back with his third and most ambitious film, Once Upon A Time in Calcutta. After Asha Jaoar Majhe won him the best director of a debut film award at the Venice Film Festival in 2014, his latest film screens on September 7 in the Orizzonti (Horizons) section at the 78th edition of the same prestigious film festival. Once Upon A Time in Calcutta is the only Indian film playing at Venice this year.

Talking about how the idea of Once Upon a Time in Calcutta come about, Sengupta tells a publication, “There is a Science Park in Calcutta called Science City and right next to that used to be this 23-foot dinosaur statue. And then the biggest flyover in the city started being built, it was a huge project. The flyover slowly started approaching the dinosaur. And there came a point when both of them were together, and it was almost like the starting point of a race. I clicked a picture of that, and that image just meant a lot more to me as I kept looking at it. It talks about what becomes irrelevant, it talks about progress, it talks about what cannot survive anymore. And this not just exists in physical forms in any city or in the world, because, there’s always the old things are broken down, new things come — but this also exists in humans, and in mindsets.”

When asked if being back in Venice feels like a homecoming for him, he says, “Absolutely. And Venice is a festival that, in a way, discovered me, and in a deeper way, made me discover myself and validated my work and spoke about my work. The people and the programmers in Venice have been really supportive and kind. So, it’s definitely extremely emotional and special to be back in Venice with this film. It’s a complex film, it’s not a simple film for the West to just easily understand. It’s very layered, it’s very nuanced. It’s soaked in Indian, and especially Calcutta idiosyncrasies. And trust Venice is to understand all of it and program it.”

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Tags: Once Upon A Time in Calcutta, Aditya Vikram Sengupta, Venice Film Festival