Experiencing Interruptions?

QISSBAH - What is not a story?

Qissbah - A mythical place where people go to listen to stories and attain Moksha (Nirvana). A place from where no one has ever returned.
Masoom Gautam Lekhi, a scriptwriter, is troubled by a dysfunctional marriage. His father had left his mother and him in search of Qissbah, never to return again.
He wants to write a script on Qissbah and through that, find out what might have happened to his father, and if this place exists for real. This quest will take him on a journey that will lead to shattering yet enlightening ambiguities; which blur the lines between reality and fiction.
The psyche of children from broken families, marriage, fidelity, egotism, career, Krishna, Buddha and the importance of storytelling are explored through the story of Masoom and his search for this mythical place called Qissbah.

  • Dev Gupta
  • Dev Gupta
  • DebaBrata Gupta
  • Debatanu Biswas
  • Jaya Bhadra
  • Spondan Bora
  • Debraj Ghosh
    Key Cast
  • Tanushree Baruah
    Key Cast
  • Kunal Sharma
    Key Cast
  • Minakshi Hazarika Saikia
    Key Cast
  • Pabitra Ghosh
    Key Cast
  • Vikramaditya Choudhury
    Key Cast
  • Abhijit Roy
    Key Cast
  • Paramesh Deka
  • Abhijit Roy
  • Liza Pegu
    Associate Director
  • Shloke Lal
    Background Score
  • Kartik Kush
    Background Score
  • Manjil Talukdar
    Sound Design
  • Bijoy Nath
    Sound Mixing
  • Liza Pegu
    Production Design
  • Neel Barman
  • Tanushree Baruah
  • Neel Barman
    1st Assistant Director
  • Montu Deka
    Hair & Make-up
  • Abhijit Roy
    Executive Producer
  • Hirak Jyoti Pathak
    Publicity Designer
  • Pompi Borah
    Still Photographer
  • Shasanka Gogoi
    DI Colourist
  • Dhruba Rabha
  • Liza Pegu
  • Minakshi Hazarika Saikia
    Line Producer
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    27 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 8, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    2,200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Hindi
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital - Canon 5D Mark III
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Dev Gupta

Dev Gupta was born in Kokrajhar, a small town in Assam, India. Currently based out of Mumbai, he has worked as a writer and assistant director in a multilingual feature film "III Smoking Barrels".
"QISSBAH - What is not a story?" is his first professional short film.

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Director Statement

"QISSBAH - What is not a story?" was born when three very different topics came to my mind at the same time.
Firstly, I found myself questioning if Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was right in leaving behind his wife and child in order to find answers to his questions. I had no doubt about the Buddha's greatness, but at a very human level, I started wondering if that particular act of his was right. I ended up equating his single minded devotion towards seeking the truth about life to my obsession with Cinema and how that had affected my own relationship with a girl.
The second topic that intrigued me was an almost dead culture of verbal storytelling in Kashmir, India. I found it very interesting to imagine a place where people go to listen to stories. Since the Buddha was on my mind, and also because I find my own peace through stories, I felt it would be great if this place I had imagined also helped people attain Nirvana through the stories they told.
The third subject that came to my mind was that of children from broken families and how most of them grow up having very unrealistic expectations from their own romantic relationships, leading to dysfunction and pain.
The amalgamation of these three topics lead to a maze in the guise of a story and the challenges of bringing it to life were immense. In that regard, I was lucky to find a very dedicated group of actors, artists and technicians who shared my intrigue and helped me at every step with their thoughts, love and labour.
Since I was dealing with a mythical place, I had also created a fictional language for the people who dwell there. "Naisheekah Qaessa", meaning "Long Live Stories" is what I imagined they would say when they greet one another. And Naisheekah Qaessa became the reason the film got made as well. As is the norm with most indie projects, I depended a lot on my cast and crew's love and passion for stories, rather than their very basic need for proper remuneration. I was blessed to work with a team that always worked with total dedication for the film and affection for its content. I shall be eternally grateful to them for their contributions.
Finding answers is a very important part of the story. And I have always found those answers more interesting that raise more questions. I took that approach while writing and filming Qissbah and that became a very cathartic experience for me and made me better appreciate the innate dualism of life.
If one takes note of the number of times the letter I and the word ME have been used here, one can well understand that making the film was very personal for me! That personal need to tell this story was the true genesis of Qissbah and it also became a very fulfilling experience for me and my team. I humbly hope that people watching the film would find it equally fulfilling, enjoy the beauty of ambiguity and care for the protagonist, Masoom Gautam Lekhi's existence and his quest for unmasking the truth of this mythical place of storytellers called Qissbah.

Dev Gupta