First move, a big mark

Passionate project

The Indian- origin Australian filmmaker, Abhijit Deonath has been intermittently covered by a few publications for his film, Salt Bridge. But, the recent news of seven songs from his film being shortlisted for the 88th Oscar nominations is a big deal for Deonath, as the film was just his first attempt.

Salt Bridge, starring Rajeev Khandelwal, Chelsie Preston Crayford, Usha Jadhav, Kaushik Das and Mayur Kamble is about a small town in Australia, where a fresh Indian migrant arrives. Haunted by his tragic past, he befriends a married woman even as the migrant community frowns upon this relationship. A recipe for disaster.

No credits can be snatched, as the script, production, music and direction all are Deonath’s endeavours. The 48-year-old filmmaker had been “waiting” for this opportunity. A list of 74 songs from all over the world is shortlisted for the Academy Awards.

“The fact that seven - the largest number – of songs have been shortlisted from Salt Bridge is a good sign. However I understand that we are in a highly competitive category with several songs from high budget Hollywood movies in contention. It will be a tough one, but I am hopeful. In any case, Salt Bridge has some outstanding songs and that fact remains,” says Deonath.

It was an impulsive decision to make a film, its scores, and solely devote to the project. On a regular day, Deonath is an executive with the Australian government. A creative entrepreneur, he is a literature, language, music and cinema lover. While he never took any formal training, he “just got around the harmonium as a child at home and kept playing and writing some poems now and then”.

“I think it’s the wait that has given my film the maturity it has,” Deonath tells Metrolife.
It took him two years with the script itself. From casting to post production, Deonath pulled off the film without any “connections” in the mainstream industry.

“I reached out to singers in Kolkata and United states, some known names in the industry. Through emails we kept up with the last minute changes in the recordings as well,” he explains.

Kyaa Bataaun Tujhe, Aankhon Me SamayeDil, KanpneLage Tum, Sookha Hi Rang Daalo, Le Jaaye Jo Door Tumse, Na Jaane Kitni Door, Bachpana Thaa, Madhuro Basonto Esechhe are amongst the shortlisted songs, all composed and written by Deonath.

“Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt has appreciate the song, Bachpana Tha. It is sung by the acclaimed classical vocalist of India Sanhita Nandi. Bhat said that it ‘depicts the fond memories of childhood where the heart was free to sing and dance and freely live gush forth in the mind’,” says Deonath quoting the grammy award winning musician.

“I followed the normal procedure - sent out applications, held auditions, then went out to look for distribution and lastly I also submitted the application in Oscars through which they could select,” he says.

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