Debalina, is an independent filmmaker and cinematographer. She studied comparative literature and worked in television before she turned to working independently. She has made feature length documentary films, short films, travelogues, music videos, telefilms and mixed genre. She is also a still photographer and. She is passionate about issues of gender and sexuality, environment and occasionally writes for newspapers and magazines.
Debalina’s latest film is titled Aabar Jadi Ichhe Karo… (If you Dare Desire…), a fictional account imagining what if two female lovers, Swapna and Sucheta who jointly committed suicide in Nandigram because their families and community did not accept their love, had not died and instead escaped their community ire to move to a new location. This film can be seen in conjunction with …ebang bewarish (English Title: … and the unclaimed) which Debalina made in 2013 about the same girls but this one is a documentary. The film has toured several international and national film festivals. She made a documentary film titled Doud (The Frontrunner) in 2014 about the Asian Games gold medalist, Pinki Pramanik and the hardships and stigma she had to endure due to her intersexed body, in the sporting world and beyond.
In March 2015, Debalina conducted a filmmaking workshop organized by the Mumbai International Film Festival in Silchar, for aspiring filmmakers. Her film Sar..r..ra (English title ‘Joy Run’) was shortlisted at the ‘Shoot Goals! Shoot Movies!’ short film competition of the Berlinale Talent Campus 2005, at the 55th Berlin International Film Festival. Later she made A Stranger in a Bioscope – a short film about her first time experience in Berlin, which was produced by Sabotage Films, Berlin. Her short film on Indian independence and partition The Broken Land was selected for the ‘Independence in 3 minutes’ project funded by Channel 4, United Kingdom. Her films have also competed at the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF), British Film Institute (BFI), International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala and so on.
She has directed a series of television documentaries about ecological issues, food habits, animal sacrifice, girl child abuse and so on. She was also the cinematographer and sound recordist of Bini Paisay Bilet – a travelogue series shot in Europe. Debalina’s passion for sociocultural, political issues led her to make Kee KathaTahar Sathe (English Title: “Sh..Sh..S(he)”) - a short film on male homosexual sex workers, Mother Courageous on maternal deaths in Uttar Pradesh and commissioned by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, India, Taar Cheye She Anek Aaro(English Title: More Than A Friend), exploring the lives of two queer women in the context of growing awareness about same-sex relationships in India. Her video capsule Bahurupee (English title ‘Men in Disguise’) was selected and showcased in the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpepen (MUHKA), Belgium. She has also made two full length children’s telefilms.
In addition, she has been doing camerawork for various national and international projects which includes a documentary on sex workers of Kolkata for Current Television, Italy, a documentary, From Border to Border, on the Chinese community of Kolkata for Hakka television channel of Taiwan, a film on the river Ganga, another on an 80 year old Buddhist, who migrated from Tibet 50 years back and founded a little village at the Indo-Nepal border and many others.