Photos: Samrat Chakrabarti, Soham Mehta and Shiva Shankar Bajpai at the 11th Annual New York Indian Film Festival
“Samrat Chakrabarti is one of the finest Indian actors working today,” said Aseem Chhabra, Film Festival Director of the 11th Annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF). Presented by the Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC), the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) which just completed a successful five-day run, is the oldest and most prestigious Indian film festival in the country.
Chakrabarti, an award-winning actor and internationally acclaimed musician, starred in three short films- Rehana Mirza’s Zameer & Preeti: A Love Story, Soham Mehta’s Fatakra and Shiva Shankar Bajpai’s Raju- that screened at the Festival. Film projects in the can include A.J. Carter’s Extinction, Deepa Mehta’s Winds of Change, Dagen Merrill’s Murder in the Dark, Michael Walker’s Price Check, Richard Atkinson’s Dogs Lie and Salim Khassa’s Desperate Endeavors. His recent guest starring appearances on TV include “Outsourced” (HBO), “In Treatment” opposite Irrfan Khan (HBO), “30 ROCK” (NBC) “The Horrible Terrible Misadventures of David Atkins,” and “Bored to Death.”
I was particularly moved by Chakrabarti’s soulful performance as Naveen in Fatakra (Firecracker), a tailor who left his wife and son in India to chase his dreams in America. When they join him three years and a recession later, the sparks that fly on their first day together as dreams collide with reality are heartbreaking. Chakrabarti also composed the score for Fatakra, which has garnered accolades at Film Festivals across the country. Director Soham Mehta recently received the Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions award from the 2011 LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL, picked up the Audience Award for Best Short at the 2011 Sarasota Film Festival, and has been nominated for a Student Academy Award.
Chakrabarti has the affinity to inhabit the skin of the characters he portrays. In Shiva Shankar Bajpai’s Raju, Chakrabarti plays the title character, an undocumented immigrant who works for a debt relief agency who must choose between the girl he’s falling for and his work visa. http://shivabajpai.com/film.html