Directors Suujoy Mukerji and Raja Mukerji Win Awards

S.K. De
Kemmannu News Network, 05-12-2018 15:30:05

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Directors Suujoy Mukerji and Raja Mukerji Win Awards at the Virgin Spring Cinefest 2018

“It is a dream come true as two of my younger brothers Suujoy Mukerji and Raja Mukerji won their respective awards at the Virgin Spring Cinefest 2018 Golden Galaxy Awards in Kolkata,” gleamed filmmaker, Filmalaya Studios owner and Joy Mukerji’s eldest son Monjoy Mukerji after the awards ceremony held at the Indian Museum (ABC Auditorium) in Kolkata recently.
Joy Mukerji’s younger son, Director Suujoy Mukerji, won the Award for the Best Short Film “Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai-Let Me Soar High” and also the Golden Galaxy Award at the Virgin Spring Cinefest 2018 in Kolkata. Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai stars Mithun’s son Mahaakshay Chakraborty(Mimoh)and new find Jasmine Grover and is Produced by Neelam Mukerji. Director Suujoy Mukerji has been receiving accolades from all over the world for his film Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai which has been nominated for numerous awards and has already won several awards globally. These include being the Semi Finalist at Los Angeles Cine Fest, Official Selection for FICOCC-Five Continents International Film Festival in Venezuela, Official Selection for Calcutta International Cult Film Festival 2018, Official Selection for Europa Film Festival 2018, Los Angeles CineFest 2019 to name a few.

Suujoy Mukerji on this occasion said,” It’s truly gratifying that my film Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai has been appreciated by everyone and I am really honoured that my film has won the Best Short Film as well as the Golden Galaxy Award.”
There was double celebration for the Mukerji family as Monjoy Mukerji’s cousin and Rani Mukerji’s brother, Director Raja Ram Mukerji also won the Best Short Film Award in the Women oriented film category at the Virgin Spring Cinefest 2018 for his short film Who Am I-Main Kaun Hoon. It stars Manisha Marzara, Rana Jung Bahadur, Hemant Rathi and is Produced by Ajay Kumar Pande.

Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai - Overview:
Set in the backdrop of an urban landscape, as the maximum city, Mumbai, is buzzing with activities, Devikajeet, an 18 year old chirpy and vivacious teenager parties with her friends at a posh night club. A group of three misguided boys, in their youth, try to get close to Devika and her friends but are snubbed at when they try to get cosy. After the party is over, Devika’s friends bid her goodbye and as they leave, barely moments later, she is cornered by one of the guys and taken inside their car. They try to force upon her and Devika resists but the trio overpower her and try to rape her. Just in the nick of time, a security guard at a nearby residential location overhears her screams and tries to intervene. Fearing backlash, the trio escape leaving Devika hurt in an attempt to rape.
The film presents the story in a flashback and cut back to present day scenarios. We see there is the usual cheerful Devika, her passion for dance and bonding with her close knit family comprising her parents, an elder brother and her grandmother. An easy going and foresighted man, Devika’s father, Prof. Ashok Kohli, is a 48 year old professor at a reputed institution who firmly believes in keeping pace with the changing times. He gives the freedom to his children to choose their way of life and career as long as they are responsible enough. Devika’s brother, an engineer by profession, is the typical 25 year old aspiring career enthusiast who is caring and very compassionate and is closely attached to his family. Her mother Neelam in her 40s is an educated woman of today’s era but gives priority to her family. Though she leads a contended life, occasionally she gets bogged down by the circumstances or incidents which create a rather uncomfortable situation. The matriarch of the family is her 68 year old grandmother, who still lives with her conventional beliefs. Though her defunct views do not hold good in the today’s times, she rather is the protective one who often voices her opinion in not giving too much of leeway as the world is not a safer place be it within the confinement of the four walls or out there under the deep blue sky.

The repercussions of horror not only inflict damages on Devika’s confidence where she starts to stay aloof and get cut off from the rest of the world, but also her family members, who feel the heat. In the meanwhile, the offenders are caught and put behind bars but the family’s repeated perusal on the case irritates the investigating officer who bursts out saying Devika was just molested and not raped.
Devika’s trainer cum mentor at the dance academy encourages her to come out of the shadows and face the world and tells her that having wings is of not use if it is not fuelled by the courage and the date to flap them and soar high up.
She struggles, she falls, she starts and the lights shimmer again and Devika’s once damaged wings takes flight filled with hope, courage and a dare to live and shine.
Director Biography - Suujoy J. Mukerji

Suujoy J. Mukerji hails from a family of legends who have a left an indelible mark in the history of Indian cinema. He is the third generation of filmmaker from the lineage of Sashadhar Mukherjee to Joy Mukerji. Born into the family of legends, he believed in learning from the scratch and started his career as an assistant director in films like Sangdil Sanam, Rock Dancer. He then went on to play lead roles in films like Mehboob Mere Mehboob, Hum Hai Kamaal Ke, Pyar Pyar and then eventually moved on to producing and directing television serials and corporate AVs. Suujoy was also an associated producer in the film Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara which was directed by his brother Monjoy under the Joy Mukerji Productions banner.

Currently as a Director of Filmalaya studio, he oversees the operations and plans to revamp the facility into a state of art studio in future. He is also working on his dream project ‘Smera’ and also present ‘Ek Musafir Ek Hasina’ his father Joy Mukerji’s film in a new avatar best suited to today’s era. Suujoy had always thought ahead of his time but waited patiently to put his dream project together. While ‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai’ showcases the guts, grit and glory of a physically and emotionally traumatized teenager to soar high in the sky, his forthcoming projects ‘Smera’ and ‘Ek Musafir Ek Hasina’ which is in a work in progress state is going to take the cinema lovers on an exhilarating ride.

Director Statement
Who is your hero! - A director’s point of view
The perpetrator of crime or the victim of horror! One walks around with brazen machismo while the other goes into a shell of uncertain darkness.
Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai, the film highlights the fact that when a woman’s reputation is tarnished, or her modesty outraged, be it physical or mental, not only she bears the brunt but the entire family faces the undercurrent of the trauma. A dent so deep that no amount of apology or retribution can swab away the inflicted pain. Women need to be empowered, faith in humanity needs to be restored.
Incredible but true, the spotlight mostly signs bright on the perpetrators who glorify our television screens either through the hour long mundane newsroom debates or occupy the front page of the newspapers at the break of the dawn outlining every detail of their heroics, an act so profane that even humanity bows down in shame.

The shallow geo political legal system either gives them a lenient punishment under the cloak of ‘juvenile crimes’ or they peter out in time and walk scot free. They leave a dent so deep that the wounds may heal over time but the scars remain forever and remind the victim of the ordeal that fateful day.
Suujoy J. Mukerji, the director, through his film ‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai’, does not highlight the perpetrator or the victim in his quest for justice; rather he puts the spotlight and glorifies the woman – ‘The Survivor’ who displays unflinching courage to overcome the insurmountable trauma. Be it ‘a rape’ or ‘an attempt to’ to profane the dignity of a woman.
‘Ab Mujhe Udnaa Hai’, the film chronicles the life of Devika, an 18 year old vibrant and vivacious teenager who musters up courage and decides to open her wings and take flight after going through a harrowing experience in the past.

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