Really dislike the obsession with taking selfies: Swastika

Two of her films have been selected in the Bengali Panorama at the 29th KIFF

Really dislike the obsession with taking selfies: Swastika

Two of Swastika Mukherjee’s films, ‘Biyojer Pore’ and ‘Matripaksha’, have earned a spot in the competitive section of the ‘Bengali Panorama’ at the 29th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). This is special for Swastika because it’s the first time any of her films are being featured at KIFF. What makes her even happier is that both movies are directed by new filmmakers. ‘Bijoyar Pore’ is directed by Abhijit SriDas and is a heartfelt story about family dynamics during Durga Puja. ‘Matripaksha’, directed by Rajesh Roy, also set during Durga Puja, has Swastika playing a village woman.

Swastika has always liked working with new directors. “All seven films in ‘Bengali Panorama’ are directed by newcomers, which shows promise. This is why I work with newcomers. Everyone has their first day and I know how rejection feels. So, I always work with new directors,” she said.

While the ‘Qala’ actor used to be a regular attendee at the film festival, watching movies and engaging in discussions, Swastika now finds herself hesitant to come due to a particular annoyance: the prevalence of the selfie culture. “10 years ago, people came for films. Now, they mostly come to see celebrities. I really dislike the obsession with taking selfies. Whether in restaurants or anywhere else, taking selfies has become a big trend. It’s not possible to always look perfect in photos. Also, people don’t even look at the selfies after taking them. They just post them on social media,” she said.

Swastika also highlighted the challenges of refusing selfie requests. “If I say no to selfie requests, then it’s considered rude. The moment I step out of the car, cameras come out and everyone wants a selfie. My body doesn’t like it. At a film festival, I want to watch films, not take selfies. If I have to go to a VIP room as a celebrity, then what’s the point of coming to a film festival? I want to watch films, see installations and meet people. But no, the priority is always the selfies,” said Swastika, who remembered watching her father Santu Mukherjee’s film ‘Sansar Simanta’ at KIFF many years ago.

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