Konkona Sensharma's Debut Feature Will Premiere At Toronto Film Festival

The film, titled 'A Death In The Gunj', already has us impressed with its knockout trailer.

27/07/2016 4:05 AM IST | Updated 27/07/2016 11:13 AM IST
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The trailer of Konkona Sensharma's debut feature, A Death In The Gunj, dropped late evening on Tuesday with the news that it will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this year.

The 10-day festival, which has often welcomed Indian selections in the past, will open with Antoine Fuqua's remake of The Magnificent Seven and will run from September 8 to September 18.

Moody and peculiar, A Death In The Gunj is set on an intriguing premise — a family vacation that quickly turns sinister as a sudden death threatens to dismantle their interpersonal relationships.

The trailer also gives the impression of a compelling and a decidedly un-Bollywoodesque narrative, one that seems to align more comfortably with indie and world cinema titles. Indeed, fans of Satyajit Ray may spot several nods to Aranyer Din Ratri (1970) in there.

It also features the now-famous trunk shot, presumably a nod to Quentin Tarantino, who made shooting two actors from the trunk of a car — in films like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, and many of his subsequent works — his hallmark (even though he wasn't the first to do it).

The trunk shot in 'A Death In The Gunj' is reminiscent of many a Tarantino film.

The film features an eclectic cast that includes Vikrant Massey, Ranvir Shorey, Gulshan Devaiah, Tanuja, Jim Sarbh, Tilottama Shome, and Kalki Koechlin.

Going by its trailer, it wouldn't be wrong to anticipate potentially standout performances by Ranvir Shorey and Vikrant Massey, whose character the film seems to hinge upon.

Sensharma has previously directed a short titled Naamkaran but this is her first attempt at directing a full-length feature.

It has been produced by Udta Punjab director Abhishek Chaubey and well-known casting director Honey Trehan.

The film's script was developed at NFDC's Scriptlab 2014, where it was shortlisted from over 80 entries.

At that point, the National Award-winning actress had told this writer that she wanted a 'star presenter' to make the film 'mainstream.'

She had said, "The Lunchbox was a terrific film but it still needed the support of Karan Johar as presenter to make it accessible to a wider audience. Ditto for Ship of Theseus presented by Kiran Rao. Right now my priority is to make a really good film. I am thankful to NFDC for supporting me."

Watch the film's trailer here.

Other than A Death In The Gunj, The Namesake director Mira Nair's biopic on Ugandan chess star Phiona Mutesi, titled Queen of Katwe, is set to open at the festival along with a host of early award contenders like Whiplash maker Damien Chazelle's Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone starrer La La Land, Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester By the Sea, and Oliver Stone's Joseph Goron-Levitt starring biopic of whistleblower Edward Snowden, Snowden.

Click here to get a complete list of films screening at TIFF this year.

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