Fenil and Bollywood

Rituparno Ghosh mistaken for Rituparna Sengupta

Posted on: December 2, 2009

On Monday evening, filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh was mistaken for Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta by the organisers of the 40th International Film Festival in Goa

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 02, 2009)


Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh might have lost oodles of weight and started dressing up as a woman but that still didn’t prepare him enough to unflappably face the latest confusion where he was mistaken for a Bengali actress.

The embarrassing incident happened on Monday evening in Goa, where Rituparno, whose sexual orientation has been under the scanner for some time now, was attending the 40th International Film Festival. He had to attend a function to announce the making of a survey-based book compiling the best Indian films of all times, T 20. Being a jury member and a renowned filmmaker, Rituparno was dressed in his finery. He wore a chic black suit, flaming red scarf and oversized sunglasses, looking in his own words, ‘very European’. All was well till he was taken to a seat marked for Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta. That’s when the filmmaker realised that he had been mistaken for a woman. Riya Sen was seated next to actress Rituparna Sengupta’s chair, making it clear that the seats were meant for the starlets.

Things then got worse. Ritu’s other colleagues on the jury, for the book T 20, were all given VIP space at the event while Rituparno was expected to sit with the starlets.

Rituparna Sengupta Rituparno Ghosh


Confirming the incident, Rituparno insists that the ghastly confusion of identity at the festival had nothing to do with the way he dresses. He says, “I am used to being mistaken for Rituparna Sengupta, even in Kolkata. When I was directing her in Dahan, people would wonder who the director was and who the actress was.”

Recalling the mortifying incident, the filmmaker laughs and says he can now see the humorous side of the gaffe. “But it wasn’t funny that evening. It wasn’t so much the fact that I was mistaken for Rituparna Sengupta that offended me. I certainly didn’t mind sharing a seat next to Riya. What really got me worked up was the fact that the other members on the T 20 jury, Vishal Bhardwaj, Madhur Bhandarkar and Rahul Dholakia and some renowned regional directors (Nagesh Kukunoor who was also on the jury didn’t turn up) were all given a VIP enclave. That really was offensive,” adds Ritu.

As a result, Ritu refused to sit on the seat marked for Rituparna Sengupta and remained standing until he was made to sit with his fellow jury members. Ritu says, “It was Riya who helped sort out the matter. I insisted that all the jury members including the regional directors like me, should all be seated together. That’s what protocol demanded.”

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