Author-turned-filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee talks about his new film Season’s Greetings and his experiences in directing seasoned actors such as Celina Jaitly and Lillete Dubey. Excerpts:

Q. Tell us about your new film?

A. The 45-minute film is about Romita (Celina Jaitly Haag) who decides to introduce her live-in partner Usmaan (Azhar Khan) to her mother Suchitra (Lillete Dubey), who stays in a bungalow with her maid Chapala (Shree Ghatak). While Romita thought that she was the one waiting to surprise her mother with Usmaan’s presence in her life, she didn’t know that her mother had bigger surprises stored for her. For cinema connoisseurs it will be a delight to see the fleeting references from Rituparno Ghosh’s films that come at various moments. The film also subtly deals with the LGBTQIA issue and Section 377.

 Q. It’s also Celina’s comeback film. What made you sign her?

A. I think everything is destiny. I met Celina in Dubai when I went for the music launch of Cakewalk with Esha. After the event, I discussed Season’s Greetings casually. After few weeks I realised that I could approach her for the daughter’s role. Celina loved the script and had tears while talking to me over the phone.

Q. You also signed a trans actor in Season’s Greetings. What made you do that?

A. Most actors have certain inhabitation in portraying the role that’s not gender-specific. I wanted someone who would believe in the character, and perform with great poise, aesthetic sense and justify it. That’s when I met Shree Ghatak and auditioned her for the role of Chapala in my film.

 Q. This film is being released on a digital platform on April 15. Do you think it would have been so easier for an outsider like you to make a film, had there been no such platforms? 

A. Being a complete outsider, it’s a fight. It has always been a fight for all. Of course, these platforms have given us a bigger scope to tell and make movies of our choice with our preferred cast. There is no sales and distribution pressure. There is no censorship. Corporates won’t ask for big stars, big stars won’t ask for corporate approvals. Now you can at least follow your heart and tell your story.

 Q. Any other film in the pipeline?

A. Yes, I have announced my first full-length Bengali feature film Binodinii, a period drama based on the life of famous theatre actress Binodini Dasi from Bengali theatre. I am currently working on the script and will soon announce the cast. I have finished directing another Hindi short Broken Frame with Rohit Roy and Ritabhari Chakraborty and a Hindi digital feature film Shubho Bijoya with Gurmeet Choudhury and Debina Bonnerjee.