As the best documentary short subject award winner was announced at the Oscars, an elderly couple — Shobha Das Mollick and Sadan Das Mollick — in Golf Green area of Kolkata was in tears. One of the editors of the winning work, ‘Elephant Whisperers’, the first Indian production to win the honour, is their daughter – Sanchari Das Mollick.
Shobha Das Mollick is a mass communication professor. She taught at the St Xavier’s Institute in 1999 and 2000 batch, while Mollick’s grandfather Manajendu Majumdar was the founder of the Calcutta Film Society with Satyajit Ray.
“Winning the Oscars is a big thing, we never thought in our dreams that the film Sanchari was a part of will get it. I was happy when the film got nominated. We thought it was a great achievement. And then the win happened. I texted her around 7 am and spoke to her around noon,” said a proud Shobha Das Mollick.
“Sanchari is overwhelmed, but also complained that I did not congratulate her then and there. She is flooded with messages. She told us that it was a different experience. There was a lot of noise in the background, but we could catch that it was a celebration,” she said.
Sadan Das Moulick said: “They were very enthusiastic. They went to Los Angeles much before, the vibe was positive. Yesterday, Variety Magazine also wrote that they might get it.”
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“Mollick started editing the film from 2021,” said Shobha. “She was in Goa when the film came to her. It was her first documentary, although she has edited my documentaries a couple of times. I have seen her working hard on advertisements and feature films.”
Shobha Das Mollick recalled how in November, when Mollick came to Kolkata, she spoke about being satisfied with the edit as the final touch was given by a senior editor, Douglas Blush.
“She told us the film will be shown at the New York Festival, I was very happy. Bengal has got the Oscar touch again after Satyajit Ray. Even though she has only edited it, it feels great that after Ray’s film, the name of my daughter’s film will come up…”
The parents were upbeat as Mollick’s classmates came over for celebration.
Vikram, a batchmate, said, “It’s a great honour for the 2002 mass communication and video production course batch from St Xavier’s College. The college has produced many achievers in the past. It’s a proud day for India, Bengal and Sanchari Das Mollick.”
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