Darwin film set for silver screen


From left: Laura Bradley (leading actress), Deb Kanungo (leading actor), Dr Abhishek Shukla (director), Nitesh Raj Pant (cinematographer) and Olga Klon (supporting actress)

Quest for Versace cast and production team. From left: Laura Bradley (leading actress), Deb Kanungo (leading actor), Dr Abhishek Shukla (director), Nitesh Raj Pant (cinematographer) and Olga Klon (supporting actress)

A feature-length community-produced film addressing the emotional trials faced by immigrants settling in a new country will screen in Darwin this Friday.

The film, entitled “Quest for Versace”, was conceived, filmed and directed entirely in Darwin and features local volunteer actors.

Charles Darwin University marketing lecturer Dr Abhishek Shukla directed the film, which he said followed the emotional journeys of immigrants as they tried to adapt to their new environment by conforming to a new lifestyle and culture.

“The movie is about a poor immigrant from India who, devastated by social disconnect, seeks to purchase a $10,000 Versace suit in order to feel accepted in his new home,” Dr Shukla said.

“When the main character, Deb, comes to the realisation that he has lost the social support network he had back in India, he is devastated by loneliness. He also struggles to manage his expectations of happiness and success in his new home.

“Deb, like many immigrants, suffers the stresses of living a hybrid lifestyle. He is both Indian and Australian, but feels as though he doesn’t really belong in either space.”

Originally from India, Dr Shukla has been an immigrant for the past 13 years, living between Singapore, the United Kingdom and Australia. Although the film was not about his experience, he said he saw a little bit of himself in each character.

Quest for Versace is his first feature-length movie. Dr Shukla cut his teeth in theatre, where he has scripted and directed a number of plays, including the 2012 India@Mindil production. His upcoming project is a gala stage production at the Darwin Entertainment Centre.

Deb Kanungo, who plays the main character of the same name, and Nitesh Raj Pant, the film’s director of photography, join Dr Shukla in the creative outfit behind the production.

Quest for Versace is part of the Fist Full of Film’s NT Exposure program, which is a Screen Territory initiative.

It will be screened at the Deckchair Cinema at 9:30pm on Friday 1 November. Tickets are available for purchase at the cinema. Visit W: www.fistfulloffilms.com.au for more information.

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