Award-winning Film ‘Barah by Barah’ offers an unflinching look at Varanasi through the lens of a death photographer

May 2024: Sunny Lahiri (Producer, Writer & Cinematographer) and Gaurav Madan (Director and Writer) successfully hosted a special screening of Barah by Barah on Thursday, May 30th at Cinepolis Acropolis in Kolkata. The event was graced by the presence of the film’s esteemed cast members—Geetika Vidya, Bhumika Dube and Harish Khanna. The organizers ensured that this exclusive event was memorable for all guests, highlighting the significant contributions of the cast and crew in bringing Barah by Barah to life.

After touring the world and garnering acclaim in more than 40 film festivals, director Gaurav Madan’s poignant feature directorial debut Barah by Barah was finally released on 24th May. This is one of the rare Indian films, shot on 16mm film, set in the heart of Varanasi offering a unique, striking perspective through the lens of the only living death photographer in the ancient city. Gaurav recalled meeting a real death photographer during a trip to Varanasi and found “immense cinematic potential” in the subject. The film is critically touted in festival circuits as an atmospheric, visually stunning and nuanced portrayal of ‘traditionality in conflict with modernity’. It had its World/India premiere at IFFK, Kerala and its International premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival. It has won top awards at various film festivals including the FIPRESCI India (Grand Prix, Best Film), Pune International Film Festival (Best Director) and Diorama IFF (Best Indian Feature Film). The film has a powerhouse star cast, including Gyanendra Tripathi (TVF’s Half CA), Geetika Vidya Ohlyan (Netflix’s Soni), Harish Khanna (Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s 12th Fail), Bhumika Dube (Motichoor chaknachoor, Your honour), Akash Sinha and others.

“I hail from a small town called Jagadhri in Haryana. My parents had to let go of our ancestral home because the government decided to widen the adjacent highway. The house was razed in front of my eyes and we had to migrate to a drab housing colony. Now, the entire town looks listless, like a big city clone. Progress is vital, of course, but there’s a part of me that misses the old town charm and sense of nostalgia. This film is a personal story, one I believe will resonate with anyone grappling with change, told through the lens of a novel protagonist” said writer-director Gaurav Madan. Barah by Barah is written by Gaurav Madan and Sunny Lahiri. It is produced and presented by Jignesh Patel’s Amdavaad Pictures, an acclaimed production house based out of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The film was theatrically released, pan-India, on 24th May by Shiladitya Bora’s Platoon Distribution (Sir, Court, Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon).

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