Bengali star brings supernatural thriller to New Zealand theatre

 

And a film to behold the ferocity of ‘Pisaci’ in July 2023

Swastika Ganguly in and as ‘Pisaci’ a theatrical and film offering (Photo Supplied)

Malini Yugendran
Auckland, November 7, 2022

Euphoria Entertainment Inc, an Auckland-based film and theatre production company is geared up for its next English production.

Pisaci (Devil in English, Pisasu in Tamil and Shaitaan in Hindi) is a supernatural thriller based on Tibetan mythology and folklore.

Swastika Ganguly, the lead actress who also wrote the story and the screenplay, told Indian Newslink that she has been fascinated by Tibetan mythology and folklore since her childhood.

“I visited the ancient Pagoda in Gangtok during my visit to Sikkim in 2019. There was something mystic about the Tibetan chanting that triggered my thoughts. Tibetan culture and folklore impressed me to write this story,” she said.

The Goddess of wrath

According to Buddhist folklore, supernatural beings roam the woods, mountains, cemeteries, and other places where life and death overlap.

Parnashavari, the feared “Leaf-Clad Mountain Woman,” a form of wrathful Deity known for her ability to incite illness and strife, is one of the most ferocious and deadliest of these beings.

According to Tibetan thangkas (scroll paintings), Parnashavari is commonly depicted as a three-faced Yellow or Green Goddess with six arms holding an axe, vajra, noose, bow, and arrow.

Swastika Ganguly, a thespian of multifaceted achievements, with Nivedita in ‘Pisaci’ (Photo Supplied)

Her ferocity and affinity for wild regions are shown through her fangs, matted hair, tiger-skin sash, and skirt of thatched leaves. Her skills, like those of other wrathful deities, may be employed to defend or destroy, which is why a substantial corpus of indigenous Tibetan literature is devoted to rituals aimed to call and please her.

Parnashavari Dharani (Quick Incantation) spread throughout India since the 8th century and remained an effective and popular ceremony of invocation for over a millennium.

Pisaci is significant in the worlds between, especially the bardo, the “intermediate state” between death and rebirth.

The story of Pisaci revolves around a mysterious Idol excavated accidentally. Its power can corrupt those who seek or connect to it. It has the power to bring dead souls to earth and force them to fulfil the goddess’s commands.

Fascinated by the Idol, a protagonist hallucinates (both auditory and visual) with an unhealthy obsession. This brings about a bloodthirsty mayhem of torture and murder.

Malini Yugendran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pisaci Cast

The lead actor and scriptwriter of the play and film is Swastika Ganguly.

A biomedical engineer by profession, with a postgraduate (Master) degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Auckland, Swastika co-founded Euphoria Entertainment Inc along with her husband Anirban Datta and their family friend Bikram Banerjee in 2017 out of their sheer love for fine arts.

She has staged, acted, scripted and directed multiple theatrical and short film productions. She has won multiple awards and several nominations at numerous international film festivals.

Swastika won the Best Actress Award at the Tagore International Film Festival India, Cotswold International Film Festival, England and the Bella Virgin Spring Fest, India under the ‘Best Short Film,’ category. She has won many other awards.

Pisaci has been directed by Anirban Datta.

He has to his credit many short films including Abhinetri, Bhalobeshe Sokhi, Bella’s Cottage and Hitchhiker. His theatre plays include ‘Azar’ (English and Bengali), the Bengali play ‘Osman,’ both inspired respectively by Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Othello, English play Bella’s Cottage and Bridge-inspired by Agatha Christie’s Cards on the Table.

The organisation’s films have garnered many prestigious awards- Belladonna as the Best Short film (Crime), at the Istanbul Film Awards,  Amigo 1.0 as the  Best Lockdown-themed Short Film at the Shoestring Film Challenge 2020 (New Zealand) and Best Story/ Screenplay (Anirban Datta) in The Best Short Film Shot in Mobile Phone Category at the Istanbul Film Festival 2020.

Swastika Ganguly is a pride of the Indian community (Photo Supplied)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these films were directed by Swastika.

Pisaci boasts of a 50-members work cast and crew and is scheduled for release as a film and as a theatrical performance in July 2023.

Indian Newslink will bring updates from time to time.

Malini Yugendran is an Indian Newslink Reporter based in Auckland.

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