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Actor and LGBTQ+ Ally Celina Jaitly Returns in New Short Film ‘Season’s Greetings’

Lillete Dubey also stars alongside transwoman actor Shree Ghatak, for a story that highlights unconditional love

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Jun 26, 2020

Actors Lillete Dubey and Celina Jaitly (from left) in a still from 'Season's Greetings.' Photo: Zee5

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After several years, Celina Jaitly makes her screen comeback with a new short film called Season’s Greetings. Directed by Ram Kamal Mukherjee as a tribute to the late veteran queer filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, the film is set in Kolkata and weaves in poetry and is centered around a gender fluid relationship that blooms.

Jaitly stars as Romita, the daughter of Suchitra (played by Lillete Dubey) who is trying to ease her partner Usmaan (Azhar Khan) into the family. In the process, new revelations come to the fore, including Suchitra’s equation with Chapala, a house help portrayed by transwoman actor Shree Ghatak. Keeping in spirit with Ghosh as well as Jaitly’s activism for the LGBTQ+ community, director Mukherjee also employs poetry by Rabindranath Tagore.

Released in April, Season’s Greetings has so far received an Award of Excellence at the 9th Best Shorts Film Festival in California. Jaitly said in a statement, “As an outsider I had to wait a very long time to get my true due as an actor, the right films and roles were a struggle to get into. I am elated that the journey has begun and the appreciation has finally come and that too as a special mention for outstanding performance from a prestigious film festival and jury which sits on Emmys and Oscars.” The actor has also been part of the United Nations’ Free & Equal campaign, as a rep. Season’s Greetings received an additional push from the U.N., who came onboard as the social cause partners for the film.

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Jaitly, who is currently in Austria, has been away from Indian film work to mostly focus on her family. She said in a video interview, “This movie was a savior actually. I didn’t want to come back to cinema. It was my mother who never gave up on me. I was fed up being portrayed as a plastic doll on screen.” She added later on in the interview, “I’m here to stay but I’m not going to do any random project, only projects that set my soul on fire.”

Watch the trailer below. Stream the short film here.

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