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22nd KIFF showcases resurgence in Marathi CinemaIndia Blooms News Service
Marathi cinema has been able to successfully bridge the communication gap between and among people of different cultures who lead different lives and speak a different language but not differently, because these films deal with universal subjects, storylines and characters and the interaction and dramatics the films portray hold appeal for everyone.
68 million people in the world use Marathi as their first language while three million learn it as their second language. In this scenario, it is heartening to see the slow and steady rise in the popularity of Marathi cinema among the Marathi speaking audience who love mainstream cinema.
Add to this another three million who learn this as their second language and millions of cinema loving people across the world who have brought fame, respect and award to Marathi cinema in recent times.
Amol Palekar and the director duo Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar from Pune are involved in making meaningful films, reaching out to audiences of different social backgrounds, with optimism.
Sumitra and Sunil (a whole of lot of their associates moulded from the movement for good cinema) have fought it out to sustain as filmmakers.
From their first feature film Doghi, they have chosen apt titles to tell their stories. They have earlier directed films with titles like Vasthupurush, Devrai, Ek Cup Cha, and Gho Mala Asavi. Their last film was called Samhita. Though initially they had titled the film Neerav (calmness), they opted for Astu, since it means that you accept life as it is. Astu means “so be it.”
This year, KIFF screens there latest film Kaasav which means “turtle” produced by actor-theatre person- psychiatrist Mohan Agashe who has also played a role in this youth-centric film.
Noted critic Amit Bhandari says, “A journey that began with Shwaas in 2004 and Harishchandrachi Factory (2009) continues to this day.”
Later, with a radical film like Jogwa (2009), Fandry (2013), Killa, Elizabeth Ekadashi (2014) and Court (2015) Katyar Kaljat Ghusli, Natsmarat and now Sairat, Marathi cinema has not only broken free of the formulaic, but also proved that these projects can work with the masses.” He adds that Marathi films are marrying the experimental with commercial success with aplomb. “
Court was the surprise package with the ‘Best Feature Film’ at the 62nd National Awards 2015. Court won best film in the Orizzonti section as well as the Lion of the Future ‘Luigi de Laurentiis’ award for a debut film. Chaitanya Tamhane, 27, who directed the film, calls Court a “complete subversion of the courtroom genre”, is perhaps one of the finest expressions of Indian cinema in recent times.
It takes on the country’s broken judicial system with a Dalit singer-activist in the centre, and has been filmed with a largely non-professional cast and crew painstakingly handpicked from streets, government offices, hospitals, banks and so on.
(Reporting by Shoma A. Chatterji)