Debutante Bengali director Soumyajit Majumdar will be presenting his first directorial venture #Homecoming on February 18. An ode to the theatre and his city Kolkata, the film will see a group of friends reunite after seven years in the city during Durga Puja to save their old theatre space from getting converted to a five-star heritage hotel. The idea of this film, which was earlier titled ‘Ebhabhei Phirey Asha Jaaye’ came to him as a result of many things- from him being born into a cultural family, to his love for theatres and several trips to the hills.
Talking about the same, he shared, “After 25 feature films, I thought I had my experience on different sets and with different collaborators, and it was the right time when around 2017 I had jotted down around 25 concrete concepts, I went back to the hills again in 2018 when I wrote down one-liners/ synopsis kinds for Ebhabhei Phirey Asha Jaaye, which is now known as #Homecoming, and that’s how I came up with the project.”
#Homecoming boasts an ensemble cast of around 20-30 actors from both Bollywood and Tollywood. Asked whether it was an overwhelming experience to collaborate with so many artists at the same time, he said his theatre work experience of collaborating with a large number of people helped.
“The entire experience of getting them on board was very exciting but not overwhelming because I am myself an actor, and always searching for the best collaborations and pursuit of that maybe there was just focus on that aspect only. I remember one night we were at Hussain’s pad, me, Sayani, and we were rehearsing, and the night went through and we just didn’t stop. They related with the script so much and it was a community film about artists, by artists. So the world should see what our lives are and so many characters brought those to life and I was really intrigued by their performances.”
There were some unanticipated challenges he had to face as a debutante, however, the challenge was not in directing but in filling in as the producer. “I turned producer four days before the shoot. One day before the shoot, my production house got registered. I had two producers, one of them, a National Award winner. They were all very late to realize that the collaboration space wasn’t what they expected. They had their own pointers regarding casting, and the theme of the film and suddenly after the look test these issues were raised. Maybe they had thought it’s a film, which is in the backdrop of Durga Pujo and the reunion party but there are various themes explored and there are multiple layers to it that didn’t resonate with them. Neither had they read the script, some people might have filled in their ears. Whatever the reason maybe- this was the challenge.”
“Another challenge was to be on set 2.5 years later, under all these circumstances, and actually we had to finish shooting sooner under tighter budgets. We finished shooting the film entirely under 11 nights and 5 days.”
He also expressed his wish of collaborating with a couple of actors from the film industry. “I’ve already told Adarsh Gaurav. We spoke about my admiration for his work and would definitely like to collaborate with him. Sanya Malhotra is one of my favorite actresses. She used to do street theatre in college with my very close friend. I also know more about her and am fascinated by her journey and story independently. Besides that, I would definitely like to collaborate with someone like Rajkummar Rao who I adore and respect,” he concluded.
#Homecoming, starring Sayani Gupta, Tushar Pandey, Plabita Borthakur, Hussain Dalal, and Soham Majumdar among others will be streaming on SonyLiv from February 18.