Tillotama Shome couldn’t be happier for she has won the Best Actor award at this year’s UK Asian Film Festival for her film Raahgir: The Wayfarers (2019).
“It’s a win for everyone in the film. The universe is conspiring to make my parents feel happy and proud in these very challenging times,” Shome says about the film, which has been directed by Goutam Ghose and stars Adil Hussain and Neeraj Kabi.
Asked if these international recognitions help an actor get a career boost back in India and if they get more opportunities, the actor says, “Time will tell. One has to choose hope. It’s all very dry otherwise.”
The past one year has been quite good for Shome, and the audience has discovered her in a new way, with her web film Sir and web series mentalhood.
“I’m very grateful for this cluster of blessings and love that I’ve received. The timing is surreal. The times are unprecedented and in the midst of this global storm, to receive such encouragement is heartening,” she muses, adding, “At the same time, it makes one realise that there’s so much at stake — a world beyond films that’s burning. How does one put out this fire? What can we do? What stories to tell now?”
While Shome has been mostly associated with “non-mainstream” cinema, she’s not sure if she can move past the whole “mainstream acceptability” factor in India.
“I don’t know. But there will always be the mainstream voices and there will always be the emerging voices. This coexistence is an eternal dynamic. I’m interested in the bridges in between,” she notes.
Talking about her life amid the pandemic, Shome says it has been busy since the lockdown was announced last year in March.
“There’s so much to do. It’s a kind of busy, that’s very different from drowning in film related work. It’s been about balancing the various threads of life, and work has been one aspect of it. Of course, I’m reading scripts and having virtual meetings, but there’s also family, household responsibilities, taking stock of what’s happening around you and what one can do about it,” she concludes.