By Arun Fulara. Posted on August 10, 2016
The film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year where it won the FEDEORA Award for Best Debut Director, is Oberoi's debut film. The film stars Vinay Pathak, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Amruta Subhash and Chandan Roy Sanyal in key roles and has had a spectacular run at festivals internationally, screening at over two dozen festivals and winning awards at festivals like New York Indian Film Festival, ImagineIndia International Film Festival & Bengaluru International Film Festival.
Island City narrates three different stories set in Mumbai. The first is about a middle-aged man who wins the office ‘Fun Committee Award’, that entitles him to a whole day full of fun and who is reluctant to enjoy these benefits of it. The second story is that of an autocratic man whose family brings home a television set, while he is critically ill and admitted to a hospital. The third story centers on Aarti, whose dull and dreary life changes thanks to the arrival of a letter.
Talking to us last year before the Indian premiere of her film at MAMI, Oberoi, an FTII graduate, spoke about the inspiration behind the film;
"The film is set in three different milieus and was derived from my interactions and experiences with people staying in Mumbai. The corporate work ethics, the emergence of malls and a new lifestyle also inspired the film. Some of it was also derived from the experiences faced by the people I knew. The film however could be set in any city which is changing and is going from a traditional to more alienating or modern kind of lifestyle."
The last few years has seen the revival of a hitherto moribund NFDC under the leadership of Nina Lath Gupta. This is the 2nd NFDC production to release this year after the Marathi film Vees Mhanje Vees. NFDC has been involved with Island City right through the inception, with it being a part of its Screenwriters Lab as well as the Film Bazaar. Gurvinder Singh's Chauthi Koot, which released last week, was also co-produced by NFDC. Drishyam Films, the indie production house behind the release of Chauthi Koot, is also distributing this film.
Excited about the release, Oberoi said, “Island City has had an incredible festival journey so far but there is no greater joy than having one's film release at home. This is now becoming a reality due to the efforts of NFDC which has nurtured this film every step of the way - from script stage through production and now to release. With the support of Drishyam Films, who are on board as distribution partners, we hope to have a substantial theatrical presence and reach out to audiences across several cities."