Counterfeit Kunkoo

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In a city that houses millions, Smita finds herself fighting beasts of a different kind as she discovers a strange pre-requisite to renting a house in middle-class Mumbai. She would make an ideal tenant - except for one glaring flaw. She is a middle-class Indian woman without a husband.

Reema Sengupta is an award winning writer-director based in Mumbai. Her film Counterfeit Kunkoo premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2018. It demonstrates the vulnerable reality of a divorced Indian woman and the shame she encounters while honouring her autonomy. The film highlights the power dynamics between divorced Indian women and the various institutions that neglect their fundamental right to livelihood and safety. With social change at the core of her storytelling, Sengupta pieces apart the struggle of a single Indian woman in a contemporary middle class society that shows no mercy to non-nuclear family status.

Reema Sungupta Counterfeit Kunkoo is the story of Smita trying to find a house to rent in Mumbai, as a woman without a husband. It is an intimate perspective on the ‘ideal Indian woman’ in contemporary urban India. It addresses housing discrimination and marital rape. The film comes from a deep sense of anger and helplessness about the fact that the need for a roof over your head is exploited as an opportunity to employ social prejudice...Kunkoo’ is the Marathi word for sindoor or vermillion powder. ‘Counterfeit Kunkoo’ denotes signs of marriage that have lost meaning, and that now function merely as simulacrum.’


Written - directed - edited by @reemsen
Produced by Surekha Sengupta
Cinematography by @harshviro
Ft. @kantari_kanmani@itsvijayvarma
Sound Design by @soundforeststudios
Colour Grade by @sidmeer