A creative tribute to Dabholkar’s fight against superstition

The 18-minute film,Bhooth Bada Ki Bhookh,was shot in two days and the crew did not charge money

Written by Garima Mishra | Pune | Published: October 4, 2013 1:15 am

When they first planned a short-film on anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar,the idea was more about espousing his cause. But after his murder,the 18-minute-long film Bhooth Bada Ki Bhookh has become a fitting tribute to the activist. Mumbai-based Amandeep Singh and his friend Amarnath Chandaliya knew Dabholkar for years. They had utmost regard for his ideology and the work he was doing to fight superstition.

Somewhere around March 2013,the two decided to make a short-film that aimed to carry forward the motto of Dabholkar in a creative way. Once they were ready with the story,the plot and the actors,they began shooting the film in May.

The film was shot in two days. However,when they were busy with post-production work,they got a setback – Dabholkar’s was murdered on August 20.”That’s when we decided that after the film is ready,we will pass it on to to Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS),as a tribute to the man who lived and died for the cause,” said Singh,director of the film.

“We are giving first 200 copies of the film to MANS,which will have the rights to preview it. Since it’s not a commercial project,in future too,if the organisation will require additional DVDs,we will be charging them only for the DVD/CD copying rates,which is Rs 40,” said. Singh who has worked as an assistant for Anand Patwardhan’s film Jai Bhim Comrade. The ceremony will formally take place at S M Joshi Hall on October 11.

The screenplay of the short-film that was made in the budget of around Rs 2 lakh,was penned by Amarnath Chandaliya,who also wrote the story and dialogues. The film details the story of a 10-year-old boy and his mother,who works as a labourer.

“As the son is scared of ghosts,his mother,despite being uneducated,removes the fear from his mind with a simple explanation. This whole episode portrayed in the film unfolds in a span of just one single day,” said Singh.

While the role of the mother is played by Mitalee Jagtap,National Award winner for Babu Band Baaja,the role of the two kids in the film are essayed by two children from slums in Mumbai. The film,produced by Junoon Films,was shot in Maval Taluka.

Chandaliya said that most of the crew associated with the film didn’t charge a remuneration for the film. “The topic of the film is very sensitive and so we don’t aim to make money from the project. Infact,we haven’t even locked the CDs or DVDs so that people who want to make a copy of them,can do so easily,and watch it in the original quality,” he said. “The film carries the message through an interesting story,in a subtle way.”

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