MUMBAI— “Bittersweet,” directed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan and produced by Quest Films Pvt. Ltd., is the official selection at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival, where it is also nominated for the Jiseok Awards, which makes it a World Premiere to which the team can look forward.
Says Mahadevan, “It is indeed a great honor to be recognized at an A-lister like the Busan International Film Festival, which is the biggest and most prestigious in the Asian continent. The concerted effort to make a film that meets the standards of global cinema has borne fruit for my producers Suchhanda and Shubha Shetty and is a great shot-in-the-arm for us aiming to break the clutter.”
About his film, Anant says, ““Bittersweet” is an incisive look at human rights and the fight for survival in an extraordinary environment that is a dead-end for women sugarcane cutters. It resonates in a universal context with its theme of human exploitation at the cost of scruples and an ecosystem upheaval in the future.”
Producers Suchhanda and Shubha Shetty added, “One of the reasons we have turned producers is to bring women’s causes to light and we feel truly honored that “Bittersweet” happens to be our first film. When Ananth narrated the plight of the ladies who work in the sugarcane fields and how they fight to survive, we knew that this was the film that we had to be part of—women’s fight for equality has been an ongoing process since forever, may it be in the urban corporate scenario or among the rural or those below the poverty line.”
“This film deals with an issue that resonates with every woman, in any class or society. The issue of “period leave” that was brought up recently is a prime example of that issue. We are extremely proud of “Bittersweet” and will be the happiest if this film brings about even the slightest social change. The fact that a prestigious film festival like Busan Film Festival offered to do a world premiere only strengthens our resolve.”
“Bittersweet” follows the first-person account of Saguna, a sugarcane cutter who is inducted into the fields and discovers the frightening practice of hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) that is prevalent amongst the women cutters. Saguna attempts to be the voice of reason, but she comes up against an environment ruled by the sugar barons, political forces, doctors and contractors. Her decision on whether to save her present or the future is the dilemma that the film attempts to resolve.