It was a closed shutter of a tiny grocery shop in the bustling city of Bangalore that inspired National Award-winning filmmaker P Sheshadri to make a film on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail. “When I went to Bangalore in 1985, I used to commute by bus. I was curious about the landmarks after which the bus stops were named. One such stop was called Nirmala Stores Stop, but to my surprise, there was no shop around by that name. No one, including the bus conductors, knew why the bus stop was named after the shop. Then, one day, I found a small shop by that name with its shutters down. I moved on after that, but somewhere this incident remained with me,” says Bangalore-based Sheshadri, the director of other acclaimed Kannada films such as Munnudi, Atithi and Beru. Sheshadri will be in Pune next week to attend the screening of his National Award-winning Kannada film at the Pune International Film Festival on January 11.
Sheshadri draws parallels between the state of small grocery stores and the social and economic progress of the country. The film, which was shot in and around Bangalore, has Sudharani, H G Dattatreya and Gurudatt in the lead roles. “We often hear the phrase, ‘world has become a global village’. I have discussed both merits and demerits in the film. I concentrate mostly on the effect of capitalism on the Indian farming sector, growth of consumerism, and I throw light on the impact of malls and mega marts on small shops or neighbourhood stores. Here, it’s not just the economics that has changed but also relationships and thus the social fabric,” he says.
The 92-minute film will now be aired on Doordarshan. “There are also plans of dubbing the film in Hindi,” says the filmmaker.