In film on border dispute,Belgaum gets its own voice

For Goa-based Kiransai Kulkarni,Belgaum holds a special place in his heart.

Written by Garima Mishra | Pune | Published:February 27, 2012 2:15 am

For Goa-based Kiransai Kulkarni,Belgaum holds a special place in his heart. It was here that he was born and grew up,collecting a lifetime worth of fond memories. Naturally,when the Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute — with Belgaum at its centre — took a turn for the worst,Kulkarni was so moved by the situation that he decided it was time he raised his voice. Four years ago,he hit upon the idea of a film about the issue. Now,his dream project is set to roll and the film,High Command,is ready to hit the screens in the first week of April.

However,the road to realising his dream was fraught with challenges. It took him time to find a scriptwriter with enough conviction to turn his fledgeling idea into cinema with impact. Secondly,to make a film about an issue mired in political controversies for long and be able to maintain an unbiased narrative proved to be a tricky task. Yet,Kulkarni says,he and his team achieved both. They are now keenly waiting to see their labour of love come to fruition.

“In India,a person who gets elected is considered a supreme high command. In such a situation,a chief minister should be strong enough to stand for right and wrong. In the film,though our CM is non-corrupt,even he is unable to find a solution to the border dispute. The issue is like a mushroom that rears its head every now and then,yet there has been no solution in so many years,” said Kulkarni,who worked in Pune in a pharmaceutical company from 1985 to 1990 before settling in Goa.

The “heavy-duty” dialogues as well as the screenplay are penned by Pune’s Pradeep Patil,who feels that writing dialogues for two powerful characters in this “serious political satire” was interesting. “The theme song of the film — Swatantradevichi Vinavani — is a poem by famous Marathi poet and playwright Kusumagraj. It will be up on YouTube on February 27,which is Kusumagraj’s birth anniversary,” said Patil.

Kulkarni said the beauty of the film lies in the fact that its makers have consciously decided not to take any sides. The film is produced by Usha Kiran and Deepti Kiran and the story has been written by Manish Ram.

Yashwant Bhalkar was roped in to direct the film and the roles of chief minister and the high command are essayed by actors Sunil Barve and Sharad Pongshe. “Over 90 per cent of our technical team was from Kolhapur,where the movie was shot extensively. The film depicts the harsh reality of how important issues are mishandled and get lost in the power battle. In the movie,the Maharashtra-Karnataka border reaches a dead end; the way it has happened in the real life,” says Bhalakar,who hopes that the film brings justice the citizens are affected by the dispute.

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