World premiere of movie ‘Qala’, starring Babil Khan and Triptii Dimri, at IFFI

The director of 'Qala', Anvita Dutt Guptan, speaks of her bond with music, and her desire that the audience should connect emotionally with the film
Featuring 'Qala' directed by Anvita Dutt Guptan
Featuring 'Qala' directed by Anvita Dutt GuptanPicture Courtesy: Rohan Fernandes

The world premier of the movie, Qala, took place at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) yesterday. In a tête-à-tête with GT, the director of the movie, Anvita Dutt Guptan, shared her connection with music and what went into the making of this musical thriller.

The film, Qala, is set in the 1930s and '40s and sheds light on the life of playback singer, Qala Manjushree, and her struggles with fame. It also highlights various aspects of the mother-daughter relationship.

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While sharing some details about the character of 'Qala Manjushree', played by actress Triptii Dimri, Anvitaa says, "The character is trained in classical music, and goes on to become a very successful playback singer. She is trained by her mother, who is herself a classical singer."

The character also belongs to the family of pandits and takes her ambition forward, all of which is beautifully portrayed in the film, explains Anvitaa.

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The themes that the director intends to touch upon is the mother-daughter relationship, music, etc. "It is something that I have been observing all my life – with girls, women, mothers and daughters. Later, I see those very daughters grow up and behave in a particular way because they have been told, or warned, by their mothers. And, this is what I want to bring out through this film," says Anvitaa.

Some people have high expectations for themselves and others. This is also something that Anvitaa had observed, and as a writer, she decided to portray it through this musical thriller.

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Anvitaa is not just a director, but also a lyricist, and shares her musical journey, revealing that she belongs to a generation, where the only available TV channel was ‘Doordarshan’  – and not even ‘DD1’ and ‘DD2’!

"On Wednesdays, there would be a programme called Chitrahaar at 8 pm on TV. And, on Sundays, there would be a movie and some cartoons. I belong to that generation. And so, what we did was, we listened to the radio and songs. We grew up listening to songs, and I dreamed that I would, one day, write songs, and so, I became a lyricist," says Anvitaa.

It is for this reason that her connection with music is very strong.

"Living in a country that loves music and is culturally rich in music, whether folk or classical, we love music. This story of the movie, therefore, set around the world of music," adds Anvitaa.

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AT IFFI 2022

The entire cast and crew of the film are in sync with the thoughts of the director as they have previously worked with her on films, like Bulbul.

"My team researches and works on the details. We are kind of in sync when it comes to what we want from the film," she elaborated.

The film, Qala, saw a packed audience at the screening, which was on November 24, 2022 at 8:14 pm. The film will also be released on OTT platform Netflix.

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