Published: 10th July 2019
This Kolkata filmmaker traced the history of migration of Afghanis to Kolkata through his documentary. Here's how
Diptanshu Chakravarty loves to tell stories about people that will touch your heart. We find out more about the young documentary-maker
Afghanis have been visiting India for trade for centuries, some of them went back, some settled here. There is a considerable population of Afghanis in the heart of Kolkata. Rabindranath Tagore gave them a new name in 1892 in his short story Kabuliwala — a perfect blend of romanticism and reality. How a small girl in Kolkata reminded Kabuliwala of his daughter back in Afghanistan. Moska Najib, daughter of the Former Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah and an acclaimed photographer, and Nazes Afroz traced the history of migration of Afghanis to Kolkata —and Diptanshu Chakravarty, a young, aspiring filmmaker from the city captured her journey in his film 'Kabul to Kolkata'.
Even though a commerce graduate, numbers never excited Diptanshu as much as films. "I had friends who were studying at SRFTI and I would visit them at their shoots. I learnt the basics of the craft and I am still honing my skills," says the 26-year-old filmmaker, now based out of Mumbai. "Kabul to Kolkata happened out of the blue in 2015. Moska and Nazes wanted someone to cover their photography exhibition on the Afghan migration and their lifestyle here. We stumbled upon the idea of a video. I felt it would be much more appealing and expressive if it was documented as a motion picture. We are still in the process of making it into a much bigger project," adds Diptanshu.
Beyond boundaries: A still from Diptanshu's movie 'Kabul to Kolkata'
Diptanshu was working for Make A Difference in Kolkata when he directed Kabul to Kolkata. "I was taking care of their (Make A Difference) video content across India. I moved to Mumbai in 2016 and have been taking up documentary projects as and whenever something interesting pops up," he says. He recounts a project he enjoyed working on. "I directed a short documentary on a platform that educates girls in rural Jharkhand. Yuwa is one of the largest girls’ football programs in India, with 250 players. "It was a lovely and endearing experience to see how these girls have broken free societal prejudices. They have been to Arsenal and players from the EPL team has visited them as well. It is an amazing success story," he adds. Diptanshu now works as a freelance filmmaker who also directs ad films along with his documentary projects.
Director: Guy Ritchie and Vikram Aditya Motwane
Film: Motorcycle Diaries