‘Scarlet Blue’ French director wants to shoot apocalyptic film in Kolkata

Aurelia Mengin is actively looking for a producer in the city

‘Scarlet Blue’ French director wants to shoot apocalyptic film in Kolkata

Five years ago, French director Aurelia Mengin presented her debut film ‘Fornacis’ in Kolkata. Now, she’s back in the city with her new movie ‘Scarlet Blue’, competing internationally at the 29th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF).

Hailing from Reunion Island, France, Mengin is still in love with Kolkata, just like the first time she visited in 2018. She dreams of shooting an apocalyptic film in the city inspired by the likes of ‘Blood Runner’ and is actively seeking a producer in Kolkata who shares her vision.

“I dream to shoot here. I landed a few days ago and the drive from the airport to the hotel made me fall in love with the city yet again. I was telling my music composer, Nicolas Luquet, that we need to make a movie here. If I find a producer who is willing to work with me here, I am ready to come here. I want to make an apocalyptic movie, like a new-age ‘Blood Runner’,” she told ‘Millennium Post’. She is the first Reunionese woman to make a feature film.

Mengin is here with ‘Scarlet Blue’, where a 40+ woman (Alter) suffers from depression and schizophrenia. She consults a healer who practices mystical hypnosis and discovers that her mother is hiding a secret from her. It is a disturbing film and Mengin has used two actors to play the character of Alter. The narrative of ‘Scarlet Blue’ draws inspiration from the real-life experiences of her best friend.

“She was normal in her childhood. Around 15, she became schizophrenic. She tried to hurt her mother and sometimes she would go out in the city without a dress. She was physically abused too,” said the Reunionese director. In fact, many of these real-life episodes have been depicted in the film beautifully using lots of vibrant colour and dramatic music.

“I tried to get inside the head of the woman who suffers from schizophrenia. I just didn’t want to shoot what she was feeling. I wanted to shoot what was going on inside her head and how she felt about it. I shot the same character with two different actresses (Amelie Daure and Anne Sophie Charron) to show the mental agony one goes through when stuck with schizophrenia. These two actresses are very different in life and they don’t look like each other. But makeup has done a really good job,” said the actor-director, who wrote the story of ‘Scarlet Blue’ during COVID-19.

Mengin has a strong bond with India, influenced by her Indian great-grandmother. Growing up with Indian cuisine, she appreciates the culture. Talking about Bollywood’s popularity on Reunion Island, she said she has watched films of Shah Rukh Khan, who has a huge fan base in her homeland. Mengin dreams of directing SRK in a role that breaks away from his romantic hero image.

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