Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2009 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project Rupban
Category PUFS Fund
Project Rupban
Director Supriyo SEN
Country India
Director's Profile A journalist turned independent filmmaker, Supriyo Sen has produced and directed feature and short documentaries like [Wait until Death], [The Nest], [Way Back Home], [Hope Dies Last in War], and [Wagah]. Supriyo won the Berlin Today Award at the Berlin Film Festival, the Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary Film Festival, the BBC Audience Award at Commonwealth Film Festival, the Golden Conch at the Mumbai International Film Festival, the Jury’s Special Mention at Krakow and Huesca, the Audience Award at Hamburg, and several National Awards. His documentaries have been screened at festivals in Berlin, Pusan, Karlovy Vary, Amsterdam (IDFA), Nyon, Hot Docs, Silverdocs, Krakow, Yamagata, Sydney, Indian Panorama (IFFI), Mumbai (MIFF) etc. His two-hour long feature [Way Back Home] was the first Indian documentary to be commercially released. Supriyo has also received grants from the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Jan Vrijman Fund from IDFA, and the Asian Cinema Fund from the Pusan International Film Festival. He is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus and served as juror at the Taiwan International Documentary Festival and the Indian National Award selection. A retrospective of his films was organized by Thiruvanantapuram International Short and Documentary Festival in 2009.
 
Synopsis
The film is a story of a unique woman called Rupban and her community of “Other Muslims.” But her religious identity is secondary as she is a great exponent of Indian Scroll Painting, an age-old heritage, which combines the oral and visual storytelling tradition (the ancient cinema!). The narrative follows the journey of a creative woman who has faced many obstacles in her life but always turned to the art itself for answers. It celebrates the undaunted spirit of Rupban, who has broken the prototype of veil clad Muslim woman and emerged from the local to the global.
Director's Note
Twelve years back when I was filming [The Dream of Hanif], a documentary on the lives of the Scroll Painters living in a remote village called Naya, the community was going through a transition. They had lost the rural patronage. No one knew for sure whether they would be able to keep the tradition alive. But mainly the women folks took the challenge of time and redefined their position as social commentators in the global world. For more than a decade I observed, experienced and became a part of this journey and felt a spontaneous urge for narrating yet another tale of Naya. I decided to portray the life of Rupban (the beautiful), the most dynamic and accomplished of the contemporary painters who symbolize the “New Improved” Naya, holding many promises and possibilities.
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