Indian filmmaker Suman Sen’s “Eka” (“Solo”) has been granted funding from the Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, a fund operated by France’s national film board (CNC).
The project, Sen’s feature debut, was part of the 2019 Film Bazaar coproduction market. Producers on the India-France-Norway coproduction include Dominique Welinksi of DW, Bijon and Arifur Rahman of Goopy Bagha Productions along with Sen’s company Fickle Formula. Sen, Welinski and Bijon attended the recently concluded 2022 edition of Film Bazaar.
“Solo” follows Biplab, a 56-year-old long-term diabetic insurance agent. Every morning, on his way to his office in a crowded bus, he witnesses a huge human toe of a massive under-construction statue in the middle of the main city square. Fully covered in blue tarpaulin, the statue is supposed to represent the Common Man. The city is keenly waiting for the President to inaugurate the monumental statue.
In the week the film spends with him, Biplab goes deeper and deeper into a state of frustration and hopelessness. When everything starts going wrong in his life, the feeling that he failed his loved ones the same way society is failing him grows stronger. His guilt transforms into anger and he finds himself giving birth to a mass revolt in his own city. His resistance gives rise to a powerful worldwide movement.
The project is mentored by Anurag Kashyap.
Meanwhile, Sen’s Oscar qualified short film “The Silent Echo,” which won best short at London’s Raindance Film Festival in 2021 and the Asian New Wave Award at the Kaohsiung Film Festival in 2022, will have public screenings in theaters and schools in France to raise funds to support the village of Dhye and rebuild the infrastructure in Upper Mustang which is an officially recognized victim of global warming. The film, which was shot in the Mustang area of Nepal, follows four teenagers from a remote mountain village who spend their days in an abandoned bus on a ridge, playing music. When a band competition is organized in a neighboring town, they gather the money and courage to be part of it.
Sen’s next short “Cry Me A River,” was shot in Taiwan and made with the support of the Information Bureau of the Taichung City Government.