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Oscar winner recalls encounter with Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan

Kolkata, Nov 25 (PTI) After her documentary ‘Smile Pinki’ won an Oscar, American director Megan Mylan now wants to take her second project ‘After My Garden Grows’, set in rural West Bengal, to short film festivals across the globe.

After My Garden Grows (AMGG), was premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival and is produced by Principe Productions. The film got an award in the just-concluded Kolkata International Film Festival in the short film category.

Mylan said she had arranged a special screening of the film for Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran in New Delhi a fortnight back, and recalled how the actor talked about the adolescent crisis Indian girls face and confided to their mother.

“We were bowled over by the couple’s humility and dedication to the cause,” she said.

The documentary touches deeply-ingrained traditions like dowry and archaic customs in rural Bengal and takes notice of how the present generation is coming out of the cocoon, Megan says, observing that such subjects are topical everywhere.

“There is drinking water shortage and problems like this, but what strikes you immediately is that there is no sad face on account of this,” she noted.

Having witnessed the change in Bengal’s society in the past six years, Megan recalled, “During Smile Pinki the people treated me and the crew as aliens.

There was no mobile phones and electricity in those times. It took time to earn their trust.”

“But here, this time, my protagonist in AMGG Monika is more tech-savvy. She can see latest Tollywood films on her mobile. It seems they have moved on with time,” Megan, who has shot the film in a remote hamlet in the state, explained.

Megan, in this context, complimented the Kanyasree project instituted by the West Bengal government, a project which accords the supreme place to the woman at the household.

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