Mumbai: Actress Konkona Sen Sharma says directing and writing her upcoming film, “A Death in the Gunj”, came naturally to her as this was a story she had heard as a child from her father and it always fascinated her.
“A Death in the Gunj” is set in the colonial town of McCluskieganj in the winters of 1979. The film chronicles the story of an uneventful family holiday which takes a twist when the guests start playing with the spirits, until the holiday ends in an implosion, resulting in an unavoidable event.
“‘A Death in a Gunj’ is a story that I am familiar with, I had heard as a kid from my dad. It fascinated me so much that I just developed the idea further and eventually I had a whole structure for a feature film,” Konkona told PTI.
“It came to me very naturally. I had a lot of interest in that and then eventually I decided to write a screenplay. I wanted to present it in a way to other people to get them interested in it as well,” she said.
The “Wake Up Sid” star said, McCluskieganj was a place where her parents used to go often to visit her grandparents, and the story built up during many such road trips.
“My grandparents used to live at McCluskieganj and my parents in the 70s used to visit them a lot. They would be going on road trips with family and friends and there were many stories which were born out of those trips,” she said.
“Some good, some fun, and some not so fun stories. This was one of the stories which had a certain circularity to it, something eerie about it which I found interesting. In fact, my dad later wrote a three-page short story about it,” Konkona said.
The 36-year-old actress, who is making her directorial debut with the movie, said “A Death in the Gunj” is a “very visual and atmospheric kind” of movie.
“I didn’t start writing till I knew everything. I knew all my characters, I knew what was going to happen from beginning to end. It is a very visual, atmospheric kind of film set in a specific time and place,” she said.
The movie, starring Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Vikrant Massey, Tilotama Shome and Gulshan Devaiah, is the opening film of the 18th Jio MAMI Mumbai International Film Festival with Star.
Konkona said though she got a good response at various international festivals, she cannot control her nervousness now that the film is coming to the home audience.
“I am very nervous for the premiere. The response at TIFF was good, even at Busan as well. But now of course, it is the home audience here at MAMI,” she said.
The film will be screened tomorrow.