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Susant Misra’s ‘Josef – Born in Grace’ features in 2019 Academy Awards

Bhubaneswar:30/12/19:Eminient art  filmmaker Susant Misra’s ‘Josef – Born in Grace’ features in the 344 eligible feature films list for the 2019 Academy Awards recently announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.This information is being  given in a press conference by the producer Ashok Mohapatra,Susant Misra  director of the film along with script writer Zakir Khan was in the dais .

The movie with an impressive star cast, which includes Victor Banerjee as a Christian priest, is an adaptation of a short story ‘Joseph’ written by Umakanta Mahapatra. It is set in the foothills of the Himalayas between 1960 and 1980 in India.Here we  give details about this film.

Synopsis

Josef – Born in Grace” is an adaptation of a short story “Joseph” written by Umakanta Mahapatra and is set in the foothills of the Himalayas between 1960 and 1980 in India.

Father O’Hara (Victor Banerjee), a missionary doctor with the help of his caretaker Maularam (Sudarshan Juyal), raises an orphan baby Josef (Hitesh Bisht). While still a young boy, Josef is sent to Dehradun for his studies and vocational training. Josef (Subrat Dutta) returns back with a reputation as a great cook as well as his love for alcohol.

The film explores in its unfolding of time, the different paths that Father O’Hara, Josef, and Maularam take in their respective journeys for spiritual fulfillment through memories, duty, and search as well as the their interaction with friends and acquaintances. Through static mis-en-scenes, the narrative of the film reflects the all-encompassing nature of time, pre-empting and repeating itself in allegorical hues.

Director’s Note

Today’s consumer culture not only harms the soul of man, but also questions and erodes his consciousness and spiritual being.

The role of any filmmaker or artist in our times, while being a participant in the historical process, therefore, is to identify and affirm all that is best around him and his reality – love, beauty, faith, and hope and in all these look for which is eternal, transcendent, and divine.

Josef – Born in Grace is adapted from the short story Joseph written by the late Umakanta Mahapatra. The story appealed to me since I could sense each of the characters in it opening up to an abstract realm, far removed from his/her physical reality. It was a cinematic challenge for me to give it for with a distinct rhythm.

Although the film is set between 1960 – 1980, the period facts, people, artefacts, props, costumes, etc had to be seen as something living and breathing. The effort was to create a sense of timelessness. The stillness and the calm the locations in the mid-ranges of the Himalayas had, gave a feeling of this timelessness and universality.

The endeavour was to create poetry on screen, to find a particular way of relating to reality, philosophically and spiritually seeing and showing life with truth.

Susant Misra
Susant Misra graduated from the Film and Television Institute and over a thirty year career has directed notable films which include but not limited to Nischal Baadal, Indradhanura Chhai, Biswaprakash and Dharini.

His films have received acclaim at various film festivals such as Oberhausen, Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Sochi, Moscow, Rotterdam , Montreal, Cairo, Shanghai, Singapore, Paris, IFFI, MAMI, & MIFF.

Susant’s films are marked by austerity of form and explores the conflict between instinct and reason, human relationships, individual transcendence, broad philosophical and spiritual ideas with a meditative eye. He is very selective in doing fiction work and Josef – Born in Grace is his first after about sixteen years.

While teaching at various institutes, he is also a Jury Member at various film festivals. He is a co-founder of the Bring Your Own Film Festival held in Puri, India, every February since 2004.

Principal Cast

Victor Bannerjee as “Father O’ Hara”
Victor Banerjee is an Indian actor who has worked for prominent directors such as Roman Polanski, James Ivory, Sir David Lean, Jerry London, Ronald Neame, Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Satyajit Ray and Ram Gopal Varma. He was nominated for the BAFTA Award in 1986 for his role in “A Passage to India”. He has won three National awards all in separate categories. He has also won the Gold award at the Houston International Film Festival as well as several more in India and overseas. He also runs the “Moran Blind School” in Upper Assam

Subrat Dutta as “Josef”
Subrat graduated from the National School of Drama and trained in Central School of Speech and Drama, London. He is the winner of “Best Actor Award” in Cairo International Film Festival and Osian’s Cinefan, Delhi. He has acted as lead actor in 27 Films; as supporting actor in 35 films; and several Television serials which include but not limited to Madholal Keep Walking, Bibar, Chaturanga, III Smoking Barrels, T for Taj Mahal and Selection Day.

Sudarshan Juyal as “Maularam”
Sudarshan graduated from the National School of Drama and Film and Television Institute. He has been trained by renowned names in the art and theatre world and has been associated with many theatre groups as well as with mainstream films and television programs. Presently, he has been travelling extensively to conduct theatre, cinema and design workshops with a huge cross section of the next generation.

Gautam Chatterjee as “Mr. D’Costa”
Gautam Chatterjee is a bureaucrat by the day and an artist by the night. On the creative side, he is a trained singer and has Bengali Rabindra sangeet, Hindi bhajans and ghazals albums to his name. He was instrumental in recreating the Tagore classic ‘Tasher Desh’ in Hindi where he crafted the dialogues, the lyrics and directed the play. As a Theatre artist, he has played the roles of Byomkesh Bakshi in the Bengali plays “Chiriyakhana” and as Qasim in “Alibaba”. Alibaba was also staged in Hindi. Of late he has started pursuing his passion as a film actor.

Anamika Goswami as “Dona”
Being born and brought in an Army background, she spent her early days travelling all over India. She completed her schooling in Lucknow before completing her Masters in English. While experimenting with various jobs, she finally found her passion in Yoga. Even though she was not attached the film industry she spent a long time in her hometown in Uttarakhand, which made her the ideal choice for the role as “Dona”, She took to this role like a duck to water. Presently she is working closely to turn a dream into reality of having a self-sustainable eco village.

Deepica Elizabeth Lakra as “Rajula”
Deepica Elizabeth Lakra, hails from the Oraon community, Sundargarh, Odisha and teaches English in a college in Sambalpur, Odisha. She first acted in the indie film ‘A Dog and his Man’. She is interested in social drama, independent and experimental cinema and has extensively researched the history of Odia cinema. She is currently studying French to add to her repertoire of languages that already includes English, Hindi, Oriya, Sadri and Kosali. Her hobbies include photography and food culture. She enjoys exploring her personal capacity and collaborating in creative projects for the experience and learning.

Crew

Director

Susant Misra

Producer

Ashok Mahapatra

Story

Umakanta Mahapatra

Director Of Photography

Sudheer Palsane

Screenplay / Script

Zakir Khan

Vijay Pandit

Sudarshan Juyal

Susant Mishra

Editor

Chakradhar Sahu

Sujata Narula

Art Director

Sukant Panigrahy

Costume Designer

Vaidehi Krishnan

Director Of Music

Kisaloy Roy

Sound Recordist

Bhabani Mallick

Sound Re-Recordist

Bobby John

Manas Ranjan Chaudhary

DI Colourist

Malay Ray

Promotion And Publicity

Ishan Mahapatra

Tech Details

Original Title: JOSEF – BORN IN GRACE
International Title: JOSEF – BORN IN GRACE
FormaOriginal Title: JOSEF – BORN IN GRACE
International Title: JOSEF – BORN IN GRACE
Format: 2K
Aspect Ratio: 1:1.85
Sound: DIGITAL 5.1
Original Language: HINDI
Country of Production: INDI

About Ashok Palit

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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