Nagarkirtan (নগরকীর্তন) is a 2017 Indian Bengali film written and directed by Kaushik Ganguly. The film stars Riddhi Sen as Parimal, a trans woman from rural Bengal, and Ritwick Chakraborty as Madhu, a flute player from the Kirtaniya town of Nabadwip.[1]

Nagarkirtan poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byKaushik Ganguly
Produced byAcropolis Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
Written byKaushik Ganguly
StarringRiddhi Sen
Ritwick Chakraborty
Music byPrabuddha Banerjee
CinematographySirsha Ray
Edited bySubhajit Singha
Acropoliis Entertainment
Release date
  • 1 January 2017 (2017-01-01)
Running time
115 minutes

At the 65th National Film Awards the film won four Awards including, Special Jury Award (Feature Film) and National Film Award for Best Actor for Riddhi Sen.[2][3][4][5]


Unable to cope with the trauma of being ‘betrayed’ by her teacher Subhash-da (Indrasish Roy), Porimal, a trans woman, runs away from home and joins a ghetto of eunuchs as Puti and sings at traffic signals to earn money. There she falls in love with Madhu (Ritwick Chakraborty), a delivery boy with a Chinese restaurant who moonlights as a flautist in kirtans. Their love blossoms while they dream of raising money required for the sex reassigned surgery after meeting the first transgender person in India who has completed Doctor of Philosophy, Manabi Bandyopadhyay. But transphobic society does not support their dreams. Puti is arrested and commits suicide by hanging herself with her towel inside the lock up at a police station. Eventually, Madhu joins the same ghetto of eunuchs.



The film is a document that frames this experience of an invisible community, rarely portrayed in Indian mainstream cinema. The fabric of Ganguly's film moves beyond the binaries of a linear and complex narrative and instead brings forth a breathtaking ruthlessness that mirrors the hidden lives and traumas of the Transgender/ Hijra/ Intersex/ gender non-conforming communities.[6] The film embodies the visceral experience of these communities battling centuries of prejudice and taboo. The community's lived realities of being caught between questions of vice and virtue, desire and rejection sustains the film's body narrative – rather precariously – avoiding a moral position – yet examining the very contours that makes taking these positions complicated. In a society that largely considers trans bodies as dustbins to dump its traumas and miscarriages of justice, the film signals a language of change that can be used to build a narrative of resistance.



  1. ^ "Ritwick Chakraborty and Riddhi Sen to play main characters in controversial 'Nagarkirtan'". The Times of India. 29 March 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  2. ^ "65th National Film Awards for 2017 announced". Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. 13 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Won't take National Award for granted, says Bhoomi actor Riddhi Sen". Hindustan Times. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  4. ^ IANS (11 May 2018). "Riddhi Sen gave world beating performance in 'Nagarkirtan': Shekhar Kapur". Business Standard India. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Importance of Being Earnest". The Indian Express. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Nagarkirtan selected in Indian Panorama section of the 49th International Film Festival of India". MediaInfoline. 9 November 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  7. ^ "17th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 12 April 2013.

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