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“Papa Buka”: An India-Papua New Guinea Film Venture Announced by Director Pa Ranjith

In an unprecedented move within the film industry that bridges stories and heritages between two diverse cultures, acclaimed Indian director and producer Pa Ranjith has stepped forward to co-produce a motion picture titled “Papa Buka”. This film promises to be a historic venture, as it represents the first major cinematic collaboration between the nations of Papua New Guinea and India. Pa Ranjith expressed his enthusiasm for the project on social media, unveiling the film’s poster to the public’s eager anticipation.

The news came directly from Ranjith’s account, warmly welcoming followers to the breakthrough project with the caption: “Happy to present to you #PapaBuka – The first cinematic collaboration between Papua New Guinea and India. A film by @drbijufilmmaker starring @ritabharipc@prakashbare and the original score composed by @rickykej Delighted to have @officialneelam partner with SILICON MEDIA…”

This ambitious endeavor is spearheaded by Indian filmmaker Dr. Bijukumar Damodaran, better known as Dr. Biju, a respected auteur whose accolades include films such as “Veyilmarangal” (Trees Under The Sun, 2019) and “Painting Life” (2018). Setting the stage for this cross-cultural narrative are actors Ritabari Chakraborty and Prakash Bare, who are poised to lead the cinematic journey.

Variety provides a synopsis of the film’s plot, touching on historical threads and emotional landscapes: “Papa Buka” will narrate the tale of Indian historians Romila and Anand as they travel to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea with the aim of authoring a book on Indian soldiers’ contributions alongside the British and Australian armies during World War II. They encounter Papa Buka, an octogenarian war veteran who becomes their trusted guide. His experiences and connections lead them into the heart of remote jungle villages, where they gather veterans’ war memories. As their odyssey unfolds, they are met with unforeseen developments that test their resolve and question their initial purposes.

The triad of production houses backing “Papa Buka” comprises Neelam Productions and Silicon Media from India, alongside Native Arts And Fashion Academy (NAFA) Productions stationed in Papua New Guinea. Filling the roles of producers are Cathy Angeline Mereun Sike, Pa Ranjith, and Prakash, with Parul Agrawal and Adhya Prasad managing the film’s execution.

In a logistical update, news points to a mid-July 2024 starting date for the film’s principal photography, which will take place in Papua New Guinea, bringing authenticity and rawness to the storytelling.

The announcement of “Papa Buka” has sent ripples through both the Indian and global cinema landscapes. The bi-national collaboration marks a significant moment for the industry, as it seeks to weave together two distinctive historical and cultural narratives into a single filmic tapestry. Moreover, it is a testament to the growing trend of cross-border productions that poignant human stories are not confined by geography. They transcend borders, bringing to light shared histories and the universality of human experience.

As the build-up to the start of production continues, all eyes are on “Papa Buka” as a pioneering work of art, both a herald of change and a beacon of unity through the medium of film. Its narrative promises to delve into the depths of human memory, survival, and the unwavering spirit that belongs to both the archives of history and the art of storytelling. Audiences and cinephiles around the world eagerly await the realization of this cinematic journey that binds together the fates of two diverse nations, their history, and their zeal for storytelling.