Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s second directorial venture A Tribute to Rituparno Ghosh: Season’s Greetings starring Celina Jaitly, Lillette Dubey and Azhar Khan wraps after marathon shoot in city of joy – Kolkata.
Kolkata: It was a wrap for director Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s A Tribute To Rituparno Ghosh: Seasons Greetings at Slyfox Gastro Pub, Salt Lake City with Celina Jaitly, Lillette Dubey, Azhar Khan, producers Aritra Das and Shailendra Kumar. This film was produced under the banner of Assorted Motion Pictures and SS 1 Entertainment.
While discussing about the film, director Ram Kamal Mukherjee shared few insights like how he narrated the story to Celina and Lillette in Dubai. Ram Kamal said, “I guess this is first short film where cast has been finalised not in Bollywood but in Dubai. When I was in Dubai to promote my first short film Cakewalk, I met Lillette ma’am when she was in Dubai for some work. First I thought she would say ‘no’ to it but when she heard the script she happily agreed to do the role of a mother. I am really grateful to her for saying yes to the role. In fact, I even met Celina in Dubai during the same trip and we bonded over films. That’s when I discussed about the film.”
He added, “Celina and I go a long way. It was really funny that we were chatting regarding my project and Cakewalk and I was casually talking about Seasons Greetings and with my utter surprise, she expressed her interest to play the role of Romita and yes the rest is history as others say!”
Both Celina and Lillette had a strong connection with the legend Rituparno Ghosh and this connection came up while both the actors shared few incidents. Celina said, “In 2012, while I was in Dubai, Ritu da called me for a project but that time I was pregnant with twins so I couldn’t do the role. Unfortunately, we both couldn’t work together. When Ram was narrating the story to me, I said yes, as I always wanted to do a meaningful cinema and with a social cause to it. And being a UN Ambassador myself for so long and associated with LGBTQIA for almost 18 years, I thought I should do this film. In our society this issue is still a taboo. I am happy to be a part of this project.”
On the other hand Lillette said, “I have met Rituparno couple of times, he was such a nice human being and very talented director. Though I didn’t work with him but I have worked with Aparna Sen, one of his closest associates and a very good friend. I think Ram Kamal is a director who is very sure about his shots. I generally don’t say this, but whenever I like a film or a director, I say that it was like a ‘play’. The last time I gave this compliment to Mira Nair, and now Ram Kamal.”
The film marks debut of Azhar Khan as male lead. Azhar said, “I am eternally grateful to Ram da for this opportunity. I mean what else could one expect as an actor? Before the shoot, he had warned me that I have to be on my toes to face such senior actors like Lillette Ma’aam and Celina Jaitly. But I was completely shocked to see that they were extremely humble. They helped me a lot with improvisation in all my scenes.”
Producer Aritra Das said, “I am learning with each of my experience. After Cakewalk, now we just finished Season’s Greetings, which is a tribute to Rituparno Ghosh. Celina and Lillette Ma’aam are extremely professional, and this wouldn’t have been possible without them.”
The film revolves around mother and daughter relationship, and also features two Tagore compositions in Maithili language. The entire cast and crewmembers completed the shoot till 4 am, and without taking any break, they met members of press and interacted with them.
Ram Kamal said, “I wanted to share my happiness with my friends and former colleagues from the media fraternity, as they have always stood beside us, and we often forget to thank them.”