Susant Misra

Born in Cuttack, Orissa, Susant Misra completed a postgraduate diploma in screenplay writing and direction from the FTII, Pune. His diploma film Nischal Badal was screened at the competitive section of Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany. His first feature film Indradhanur Chaai won him the Grand Prix at the Sochi International Film Festival in Russia. His second film Biswaprakash too was screened at several international festivals. Dharini is his third film.


Indradhanura Chhai - 1993 - Oriya
(The Shadows of the Rainbows)

The story explores the multidimensional conflicts of three women- Sonia, Vijaya and Nila- of different generations, to their changing perceptions of natural human and personal relationships.

Vijaya's husband died a few days after their wedding and she does not know how a woman in her situation can cope with her tender feelings for a kind local teacher. Her friend Sonia provides a graphic example of a woman desperately torn between modernity and traditional notions of female virtue, while Aunt Nila has difficulty facing up to the aging process.

Direction & Co-screenplay: Susant Misra
Co-screenplay: Devdas Chhotray
Cast: Robin Das, Vijaini Misra, Surya Mohanty, Muktabala Rautray
Cinematography: Jugal Debata
Music: Vikas Das

Bishwaprakash - 1999 - Oriya
(The Young Rebel)

Set in the temple town of Puri, on the eastern coast of India, the film follows Biswaprakash, a young man in his early twenties who revolts against the traditional oriental/lifestyle of his family, steeped in medieval socio-religious values.

The film tries to explore the theme of sexuality through the different characters who embellish Bishwaprakash's world at home and outside and on the peaches of Puri.

When he meets Anjali, it seems for a while that he has finally found his last port of call. She is an independent, liberated, young woman who stays with her mother on the outskirts of the town, in an old mansion near the sea. Just when Bishwaprakash seems to be settling in, another man a policeman intervenes. The breakup disheartens Bishwaprakash. Saddened and introspective, he turns to religious rituals, in the belief that these would help redeem him. Then, one bright day, he meets a young traveller from abroad. He starts becoming dependent on her. The questions relating to sex and morality, home and society, resurrect in his mind.

Direction & Screenplay: Susant Misra
Cast: Sanjeev Samal, Nandita Das, Dhristina Ranck, Carmen Cordwell, Binataka Mishra
Cinematography: Jugal Debata
Music: Vikas Das

Dharini - 2002 - Oriya
(Whispers of Change)

A melodrama of the lives of four women, brought up in middle class circumstances in the holy city of Benares, the film revolves around their constant fight for dignity in a household desperate for a male heir. Sarala, the eldest daughter-in-law is distraught when she discovers her inability to bear children due to a sexually transmitted disease contracted from her wayward husband. In the first step towards change in the traditional male dominated family, a battered Kamala defies her husband and leaves the house after refusing a repeated abortion. The ill treatment mated out at Kamala causes anger and despairs amongst the other women and gives an impetus to Shweta, the dishonoured widow and a burden on the family to defy tradition and seek an honourable life. Influenced and vexed by the claustrophobic circumstances in the house, socially active and liberal minded Nandini wants a free life away from home.

Direction & Screenplay: Susant Misra
Cast: Kirti Kulhari, Rachna Shah, Avni Vasa, Jyoti Dogra, Richa Nayyar
Cinematography: Jugal Debata
Music: Sujeet Chaubey, Akshaya Mohanty

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