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The Fourth Direction -
Chauthi Koot:
Gurvinder Singh’s Punjabi Film On 1984 Goes To Cannes Film Festival





More than three years after Gurvinder Singh's directorial debut Punjabi film 'Annhey Ghorrey Da Daan’ (Alms For a Blind Horse), premiered at the Venice Film Festival, his second venture 'Chauthi Koot' ('The Fourth Direction') is all set to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

As the fest unveiled its official selection lineup for 2015 on Thursday, April 16, 2015, the Punjabi film was in the list of 14 to be showcased in the “Un Certain Regard” category at the prestigious film festival to be held in Cannes, France, from May 13-24, 2015.

The Indo-French feature is adapted from two short stories by Punjabi writer Waryam Singh Sandhu. The film is about India’s state-sponsored crimes of the 1980s, the anti-Sikh pogroms in New Delhi and across the country, the resistance movement they spawned and the fears and insecurities of those times.

It has been co-produced by Kartikeya Singh and Sunil Doshi in India and Catherine Dussart in France.

Gurvinder called the selection at Cannes a great follow-up to the Venice premiere of 'Annhey Ghorey Da Daan'. He said that the section is very well-regarded and is known for cutting edge and experimental works that defy the current convention of cinema.

"Even if they don't have famous names, they leave a mark. Here, the director is the star," he said.

Un Certain Regard’ is a section of the Cannes Film Festival's official selection wing. It is run at the salle Debussy, parallel to the competition for the Palme d'Or, and was introduced in 1978 by Gilles Jacob. It is a competitive section and Italian actress Isabella Rossellini, daughter of actress Ingrid Bergman, is heading the jury this year.

Gurvinder said the selection at Cannes means a wider audience as trade people from world over converge here.

"Despite a premier at Venice, Annhey Ghorrey didn't get distributed the way I would have liked it to, but Cannes will open it to a wider audience. It will obviously be screened in France but I would like it to reach audience in America and Canada as well and not just Punjabis, but non-Punjabis and people from other nationalities as well. It is a Punjabi film for the world audience," he said.

Gurvinder said that the unspeakable excesses and brutalities of 1984 and the decade that followed, especially the police, forced him to make the film.

"The film does not try to uncover the reasons for these excesses or who was to blame. It deals with what turmoil does to everyday living for the ordinary person," he said.

As a boy growing up in Delhi, he felt the repercussion of those events, specially the massacre of thousands of innocent Sikh men, women and children in India’s capital. And the disturbing news from Punjab of police excesses during the decade that followed, made headlines for so many years to come.

"When I read Waryam Singh's collection of stories, 'Chauthi Koot', I realized what impact those events had on the mental and psychological constitution of people in Punjab. The stories compelled me to make the film," he shares.

Featuring theatre actors from Punjab, the film was shot in Ferozepur and Amritsar last year. It will release in India towards the end of this year.

The film's score has been composed by French musician Marc Marder.

[Courtesy: Times of India. Edited for]
April 17, 2015


Conversation about this article

1: Harman Singh (California, USA), April 17, 2015, 2:14 PM.

I wish the director all the best! We need more Punjab-centric initiatives like these made for the global audience, not just Punjabis. It is time we take control of the narrative and start writing and sharing our own stories.

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Chauthi Koot:
Gurvinder Singh’s Punjabi Film On 1984 Goes To Cannes Film Festival"

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