There is good news for Celina Jaitly fans! The gorgeous actress, who is currently settled in Dubai, will be making her comeback with author-turned-director Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s second directorial venture A Tribute to Rituparno Ghosh: Season’s Greetings (ATTRGSG). Based on a mother and daughter relationship, Celina will be playing the role of daughter, opposite veteran actor Lillette Dubey who plays the role of her mother. The film will also star debutant Azhar Khan as the male protagonist.
“I am extremely happy to be a part of Ram Kamal’s film Season’s Greetings because I have always considered him as a creative person and when he narrated me this story in Dubai, I had goosebumps. I knew that this film will be worth my time, as post marriage and motherhood, I was looking for a subject that would excite me as a performer. Considering the fact that I have been associated with LGTBQIA movement for the past 18 years, and Ritu da (Rituparno Ghosh) being an inspiration for all of us, I feel that finally, I will be acting in a film that deals with this issue,” says Celina Jaitly.
Produced under the banner of Assorted Motion Pictures and SS1 Entertainment, the film will be shot in Kolkata. “I know Celina as a friend and have interacted with her on various occasions. She is well read and values human emotions. I was looking for someone who could relate to this script, and after the narration, I could see a teary-eyed Celina, who immediately came on board. I am thankful to her for being a part of this special journey,” says director Ram Kamal Mukherjee.
Ram Kamal and Celina have been planning to work on a project since some time. But due to her family commitment, it took some time for them to decide upon the project. Celina went through a testing time early this year when she lost her newborn baby Shamsher and later her parents, whom she was extremely attached to. Married to hotelier Peter Haag, Celina is a mother of three kids Winston, Viraaj and Arthur, and keeps shuffling between Dubai and Mumbai for her work commitments. “I will be shooting in Kolkata for the first time, and that’s something which I am really looking forward to,” says Celina. The film is produced by Aritra Das and Shailendra Kumar.
“I tapped Ram Kamal’s talent as a storyteller when I was travelling with him in Egypt for work, he made a short musical on various moods and moments he had captured through his camera. He had the perfect idea of light and composition of a frame. I knew that sooner or later he will direct a film. I loved his aesthetics in Cakewalk (the short film starring Esha Deol which will release later this month), and the way he mounted the film,” says Celina. A Tribute to Rituparno Ghosh: Season’s Greetings has music by Shailendra Sayanti, while Kumar Sanu’s son Jaan makes his Bollywood debut as a singer. Jaan rendered Kunjvan, a Maithili song, which has been written by Rabindranath Tagore.
Vocal about the cause and abolishment of Section 377, Celina has been a torchbearer for LGBTQIA for almost two decades. In 2014, she made her debut as a singer for a United Nations Free and Equal Human Rights campaign and had even released a touching, sensitive music video related to the issue.
Incidentally, Paoli Dam was supposed to play the role of the daughter in the film, but due to a professional issue, she parted ways amicably. “Ram Kamal is a dear friend and this is a very special film because it’s a tribute to Ritu da. Unfortunately, due to certain unforeseen circumstances in my shooting schedule, I had to let this film go and I wish him all the best,” said Paoli.
All the best Celina!