Page no 41 of the Limca Book of Records holds immense significance for some of the employees of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Reason: Flyover a short film made by a handful of Grade-III and Grade-IV employees not only found a spot on the record book,but it was alongside the likes of Big B and King Khan.
The 22-minute film that premiered in October 2011 at the Film and Television Institute of India,aims at creating awareness on the use of flyovers.
And true to its purpose,it was featured in the 100 years of Indian Cinema category under the sub-category Film on Public Awareness of the 2013 edition of LBR.
The most commendable aspect of the film is that neither are the actors professional artistes,nor are the technical staff graduates of any film institute. The entire team of Flyover comprises PMC grade III and IV workers.
The film was made with a budget of Rs 3.5 lakh. While 10 people contributed Rs 5,000 each,the rest was pitched in by my colleague Ganesh Dugaane and me, says Ganesh Devidas Kadam,who is both the director and scriptwriter.
Dugaane and Kadam are junior clerks at PMC. The song was written by senior clerk Ashok Landage and sung by Dharmanand Jagtap,who is a peon at PMC.
One may think that in order to pull off such a big project,the PMC staff may have ignored their duties. But no. in fact,the team worked only on weekends and anytime that would be outside their official schedule. Due to budget constraints,the short film was shot in eight months in 2010.
The film was showcased at six film film festivals in 2011 Jaipur International Film Festival,Pune International Film Festival,Nashik International Film Festival,Gujarat International Film Festival,South India Mega Short Film Festival and Pune Short Film Festival.
The film was also screened in several schools like the Bhave School and New English School.
Considering the topic of the film,we wished we could reach out to a greater audience by sending it to more film festivals. But couldnt do so due to the low budget, says Kadam. After all,the movie was made from money contributed by the staff from their own pockets.
The 22-minute film portrays the life of a man,who in his attempt to save time,not only crosses the railway tracks at the station but also forces his wife and child to do the same,ending in a tragedy.
It is dark. The family starts to cross the tracks,then hears the rumble of an approaching train. In the darkness,treading with thumping hearts,they confuse the direction in which the train is approaching. Their confusion leads to a disaster when the mans wife comes in front of the moving train,changing the lives of the surviving family members forever, Dugaane narrated,drawing attention of the dangers that lurk on the railway tracks and the callous behaviour of people in general who endanger their lives. Not to point out the obvious,the film encourages the viewers to use the foot-overbridge (hence the name Flyover) at railway stations,and stop jeopardising their lives and those of their family and friends.
Around two years ago,I approached LBR officials. Since I am not filmmaker,only a government employee,I had no idea on how to go about it. But I gave them all the details and documentation they asked me to provide. The efforts finally paid off, said 36-year-old Kadam.
He,however,added that he and his team hoped to get the support of NGOs in showcasing their film to a larger audience.