An upcoming venture that pays tribute to Rituparno Ghosh will mark Celina Jaitley's return to cinema after seven years.
Ram Kamal Mukherjee's offering is particularly special for the actor, given that, like the openly-gay filmmaker, Jaitley too is an active proponent of the LGBTQ community.
"I am happy to be part of Ram Kamal's film, A Tribute To Rituparno Ghosh: Season's Greetings, because when he narrated the story to me in Dubai, I got goosebumps. Post marriage, and becoming a mother, I was looking for a subject that would excite me. Since I have been associated with the LGTBQIA movement since 18 years, I [am happy to] act in a film that deals with the issue," Jaitly tells mid-day.
Mukherjee reveals that while his film is a tribute to Ghosh, it will not be a biopic.
"It's a tribute to his cinema sensibility. It honours his body of work." Based on a mother-daughter relationship, the film pairs Jaitley with veteran actor Lillete Dubey, who plays the role of her mother. The Aritra Das and Shailendra Kumar production also star débutante actor Azhar Khan.
A short work trip to Egypt first introduced Jaitley to Mukherjee's work.
"He made a short musical on moods and moments, and always had perfect ideas for lighting and compositions of frames. I will shoot in Kolkata for the first time, and I'm excited about it."
Jaitley's association with people who have distinct sexual preferences began early on.
"My first boyfriend was gay. I was 16 when I realised that he has different sexual preference. He died of bulimia-induced stroke. My first makeup artist was a transgender, and treated me like a daughter. He died in a road mishap. That's when I decided that I would fight for their causes."