It was an amazing Australian premiere of Kalpavigyan: A Speculative Journey on 14/11/2021 , accompanied by Vishal Sridhar’s short film, The 12th MAN. It was part of Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival at the Actors Centre Australia in Leichhardt, Sydney. Attended by Indranil Halder( Ex ambassador of IABCA), Deirdre O’Loghlin(CEO,The Queen of Spin) and Summy Gulati(Plate of Origin star).
Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival :
Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival (SSFFF) is happening for last couple of years. One of the founding board member is Virat Nehru. Born in Delhi and educated in University of Sydney, Virat loves celebrating SciFi movies. The 2021 SSFFF trailer represented brilliant creative mind of Lunacraft Productions boss Richard de Carvalho. According to Virat,”It features dazzling moments from this year’s roster of breathtaking films, Richard combined his acute editor’s eye with the music of Jayden Lawrence and motion graphic artistry of Ryan Stubbs to craft a superb collage that captures the vast expanse, both physical and emotional, that the audiences will find at this year’s festival events.”
SSFFF showcased Chilean/Italian co-production, Vera de Verdad; the U.S indie No Tomorrow; U.K. short film Hiraeth; the Austrian stop-motion work, Miniature Landscapes – in Space; and, four new works from Australian directors. SSFFF Director Simon Foster said, “Our festival’s key aim is to create a hub for the international science-fiction community.” Kalpavigyan: A Speculative Journey is the latest addition to the film festival program.
The film festival had invited Anupam Sharma, one of Australia’s most successful producers and an influential figure in the south-east Asian film industry to present the Australian Premiere of Arunava Gangopadhyay’s Kalpavigyan: A Speculative Journey. Sharma directed the 2015 box office hit UNindian, starring cricketer Brett Lee and actress Tannishtha Chatterjee. In early 2022, his latest film Bollywood Downunder will be released, providing an insider’s take on the impact of Indian film culture in Australia. Via Films and Casting Temple, his consultancy and co-production initiative, he has overseen many projects to unite the film industries of Australia and India. Sharma stated, “It is so encouraging to see such a diverse curation of films from all backgrounds and countries. I am particularly delighted to be presenting Kalpvigyan to Australians through this festival.”
‘Kalpavigyan’ (কল্পবিজ্ঞান) means ‘stories of imaginative science’ in Bengali literature( 250 million readers). The work of CoFutures, an international research group working on contemporary Global Futurisms from the University of Oslo, Norway Gangopadhyay’s immersive journey engages with the brilliant visionaries who helped guide a century of Indian science-fiction narratives. According to Foster, “This remarkable film will transport Australian audiences through a culturally unique genre landscape, the likes of which most will never have experienced.”
Arunava Gangopadhyay’s Kalpavigyan: A Speculative Journey, is a magnificent documentary that charts the growth, impact and profound legacy of Bengali science fiction storytellers. The film chronicled the visionary authors and artists who have championed science fiction in Bengali culture for over a century. Explored in Gangopadhyay’s film are such influential developments as the genre magazines of the 1960s-80s and the contributors who ignited the movement by giving it shape and form; the passion for speculative narratives embodied by such names as Adrish Bardhan, Satyajit Ray, Premendra Mitra, and Leela Majumdar. The drive and commitment to publish that made the magic of Kalpavigyan happen in West Bengal, India and Bangladesh.
“The production team is incredibly honoured to have the Australian premiere of Kalpavigyan at the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival,” said producer Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay. “We are out-of-this-world excited to showcase the history of Bangla and Indian science fiction to Australian audiences, and thrilled to be a part of this grand celebration of speculative futures from across countries, cultures, and continents.” The screening of Kalpavigyan: A Speculative Journey was truely the centrepiece that celebrated Indian science fiction culture, held in conjunction with local diaspora community groups in Sydney. With the development of artificial intelligence, increasing love for science fiction and new Bengali authors (best sellers at International Kolkata Book Fair, world’s biggest international book fair) writing Kalpavigyan stories, science fiction stories in Indian subcontinent is sure to reach new heights. A great future definitely waits for Bengali science fiction globally.