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Busan: Bhumi Pednekar, Konkona Sen Sharma Hatch Plentiful Future Plans

The sparkling female stars of Alankrita Shrivastava’s “Dolly Kitty and Those Twinkling Stars,” produced by Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms, have plenty going on in their careers.

Bhumi Pednekar has had a very brief career so far, but she has made each role count. She made her debut in 2015’s “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” as an overweight housewife dealing with an arranged marriage, and went on to star in 2017’s “Toilet – Ek Prem Katha” where she refuses to defecate in the fields and demands a toilet at home.

Also in 2017, she starred in “Shubh Mangal Savdhan” where she played a bride whose groom suffers from erectile dysfunction, while in 2018 Netflix Original anthology film “Lust Stories” she plays a maid in a sexual relationship with a bachelor, who suffers silently when his parents seek an arranged marriage for him. In 2019 bandit drama “Sonchiriya” she plays a strong-willed woman who braves the odds to take her molested sister to a hospital.

In “Dolly” which had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival this week, she plays the titular Kitty, a small-town girl who finds freedom and its attendant pitfalls in the big city. “It is really gratifying when your films are appreciated critically as well because those are my sensibilities,” Pednekar told Variety. “I don’t want to do just commercial, senseless, work. I’ve always said that my films should leave behind a legacy.”

Adding to that legacy are her next several projects. “Saand Ki Aankh,” where she plays a sexagenarian sharpshooter, will have its world premiere at Pingyao later this month. She also has horror film “Bhoot: Part One – The Haunted Ship” coming up, along with hair-loss comedy “Bala,” family comedy “Pati Patni Aur Woh,” a remake of the 1978 classic of the same name, and Mughal-era historical drama “Takht.”

Pednekar’s co-star Konkona Sen Sharma has been gathering plaudits ever since she debuted in 1983 as a child actor in“Indira.” Since then she has played a series of strong, nuanced women. Career highlights include 2002’s “Mr and Mrs Iyer,” for which she won India’s National Award for best actress, 2006’s “Dosar” and “Omkara,” for which she won the National Award again, this time for best supporting actress, 2008’s “Life in a Metro,” 2010’s “Wake Up Sid,” and 2016’s “Lipstick Under My Burkha,” directed by Shrivastava.

Sen Sharma’s mother is the well-known director and actor Aparna Sen. “Since I was a kid, because my mum is a film director and often made films that are slightly alternative kind of content, I have always known it is very difficult to make films which are a little different or make people a little uncomfortable or people feel threatened so easily,” Sen Sharma told Variety. In “Dolly Kitty” she plays a working wife and mother who is initially trapped in a patriarchal system.

Next up for Sen Sharma as an actor is ensemble family drama “Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi,” that will premiere at the Mumbai film festival later this month. She debuted as a director with 2016’s “A Death in the Gunj” which bowed at Toronto and received considerable festival play. She is now developing a series for an OTT platform on Arati Das, a cabaret dancer in 1960s Calcutta, better known by her pseudonym Miss Shefali.

Meanwhile, the global distributor of “Dolly Kitty,” Zee Studios International, has revealed release plans for the film that will commence February 2020. “With a film like ‘Dolly Kitty,’ we aim not only to tap traditional territories, but also enter markets like Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, Turkey, and Russia,” said Vibha Chopra, head of global syndication & international film distribution for Zee.

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