International Competition
[TWO FRIENDS] DOSTOJEE

The aftermath of Babri Mosque demolition and the Bombay blasts in India, 1992-’93, found its violent echoes even in a remote village of West Bengal adjacent to the India-Bangladesh border where the story begins to unfold. A story of friendship between two little boys belonging to two warring religious communities. Palash (8) is the son of a Hindu Brahmin while Safikul (8) is the son of a Muslim weaver. The innocence of Palash and Safikul receives its sustenance from nature. The greenery of the village, the river and the vast stretch of paddy fields playfully rebound the echoes of the voices and the laughter of the boys. However, relentless fate arrives quietly, when separation becomes the destiny of their friendship. How the boys face the farewell and spread wings to fly again.

–  The Times BFI London Film Festival

Japan Premiere
  • Director:Prasun Chatterjee
  • India
  • 2021
  • 111min.
  • color
  • -
  • Bengali
  • JPN & ENG Sub.

SNS

Screening Dates, Times, and Venues

Sep.22 (Thu.) 10:00-
Naramachi Center

Sep.23 (Fri.) 18:15-
Naramachi Center

* Only if there are vacant seats, tickets are available at the door.

Guest Talk

Sep.23 (Fri.) 18:15~
After screening

movie trailer
Director
This story is the expression of a multitude of feelings that are deeply personal in nature. My family background, the pain of losing a very close friend and most importantly the religious divide deeply prevalent in the society which I have seen from very close quarters - these all have played a role in shaping this idea in my subconscious mind. Born and brought up in a cosmopolitan city like Kolkata, I have spent over a decade in the remote villages of the eastern state of India, West Bengal along the India-Bangladesh border. Throughout this journey I have deeply felt that the fine threads of our social fabric are being destroyed bit by bit everyday by discriminatory politics. Not just in our country but this is the reality of the whole world. Looking around us we can see the entire world plagued by the menace of religious polarization. An individual from one community is casting aspersions on individuals of other communities. Religious identity is turning out to be the sole identity of a human being. Our story tries to capture this very narrative through the innocent eyes of two little boys.
Prasun Chatterjee

Prasun Chatterjee is a self-taught filmmaker, born in a lower middle class refugee family from the suburbs of Kolkata. He learnt the ropes doing group theatre for six years. Without a film school background and any experience of film-making, he managed to shoot his first short film Shades (2017), which was premiered in the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala and screened in numerous film festivals. Possessing a bohemian soul, Prasun has spent a major part of his life wandering aimlessly across the remote villages of the eastern state of India, West Bengal along the India-Bangladesh border in search of meaning. He has experienced the lives of the villagers, their emotions, economy, the communal polarization and their innocence very closely. All these experiences manifested in his mind as the story behind DOSTOJEE, which became his first feature film.

Recommendations from the NIFF Supporters

A simple yet meticulous depiction of the unshakable friendship between two young boys. The beautiful scenery of Bengal is captured by the skillful camera work, especially the wonderful long shots, which seem to capture the emotions of the characters, and the depiction of their miserable lives is not lacking. The film has the feel of a visual poem. This is a fine film that conveys the friendship between the two boys in a pleasing manner with its visual beauty and simple expressions.

Jurors

Jury President│Filmmaker

Billante Mendoza

Filipino film director and producer. Known as a Living National Treasure. His films
have been highly acclaimed and won awards at the world’s three major film festivals―the Cannes Film Festival,
the Venice International Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival. After working in the advertising
industry, he became a production designer. He has served as juror and jury president at film festivals held in
Japan, Egypt, France, Malaysia, Singapore, and Belgium.

 

Filmmaker

Momoko Ando

Born in Tokyo in 1982. She studied abroad in England since high school and
graduated from the University of London’s Faculty of Arts. After that, she studied filmmaking in New York, worked
as an assistant director, and made her debut as a director and screenwriter in 2010 with “A Piece of Our Life”. In
2011, she published her first full-length novel “0.5mm”, and in 2014 directed, wrote and made it into a movie. After
that, the movie “Utamonogatari CINEMA FIGHTERS project ‘Aeiou'”, which she directed and wrote, was released
in 2018.

 

Professor at Kyoto Seika University Faculty of Humanities

Dr. Oussouby SACKO

As a government-sponsored student, he studied at Beijing Language and Culture
University and Nanjing Southeast University. In 1990, he experienced a shortterm
homestay in Tokyo and was surprised by the downtown culture that was common to Mali. He came to
Japan in 1991, and in 1999 completed a doctoral course at the Department of Architecture, Graduate School
of Engineering, Kyoto University. Ph.D. (Engineering). Specialized in spatial anthropology. After working as a
faculty member and dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Kyoto Seika University, he was appointed president of
the university in April 2018 (until March 2022) before taking up his current position. He advocates a society that
recognizes diverse values from the perspective of everyday life.

 

 

Asian Film Programming Advisor

Asia│Film Programming Advisor

Jacob Wong

Jacob Wong has been a member of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society for over two decades, with double-barrel responsibilities as Curator and Director of HAF (Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum). He is currently Director of the Film Industry Office, overlooking HAF, HAF Goes to Cannes, the Film Lab, Co-productions and Foreign Sales. He is also the Berlin Film Festival’s delegate for Chinese-language cinemas.

 

Locarno IFF Selection Committee, Film Critique

Daniela Persico

Daniela Persico is part selection committee for Locarno Film Festival and Berlin Critics Week and
a curator for L’immagine e la parola, spin-off of the Locarno Festival. She’s founder and editor in chief of the online quarterly
Filmidee (www.filmidee.it). She has also devoted to help various young filmmakers in developing films. In 2022, she was
appointed artistic director of the Bellaria Film Festival.

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