Filmmaker Bhaurao Karhade’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing since the 62nd National Awards were announced on Tuesday. His Marathi film Khwada bagged two National Awards. One went to him for Best Director and the other to Mahavir Sabbanwal for Best Sound. Among the callers were many whom Karhade had approached in 2012 to produce his film. Unfortunately, back then none of them were convinced about the script.
“When the film received the best director award at the Pune International Film Festival, I was confident that Khwada is in for further recognition. I am so happy that my conviction and my hardwork has finally paid,” says Karhade.
It’s not only hardwork that went into Karhade’s Khwada. When he failed to find producers for his film, he convinced his brother and mother to sell a part of their land to fund his project. However, when he began shooting the film in May 2013, he ran out of finances. Karhade then sold off another piece of land and borrowed money from others and resumed the shoot. “I was so convinced about the project that I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned to make it happen,” says the 30-year-old.
Khwada, which means obstacle, revolves around a shepherd family, who leave their village and migrate to a big city. “Through its protagonist, the film talks about the entire shepherd community and how their lives are unstable and full of challenges,” says this Pune-based director-writer. The film is scheduled to release in June. Other than actors Shashank Shende and Anil Nagarkar, the film has many first-time actors.
The inspiration behind Khwada lies in Karhade’s village Gawadewadi in Ahmednagar district where he observed the shepherd community from close quarters. “They keep moving from one place to another. Most of them have lost their lands, their children don’t get educated because they don’t stay in one place. There are many issues, none of which have been touched upon so far,” says Karhade, who developed a fascination for films from a very young age.
He remembers the time when in Gawadewadi, there was only one family who owned a television. Every evening, all the villagers would gather around to watch films in this house. When Karhade entered class eight, he joined a school in Shirur, around seven km from Gawadewadi. “Shirur had a mini theater. Quite often I would bunk school and visit the theater,” recollects Karhade. After his class 12, when he refused to join the army, as was the norm, his parents gave up and did not allow him to study further.
When his father passed away, Karhade got into full time farming. One day, when he visited Pune to sell his crops in the wholesale market, he visited Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), about which he had heard a lot from his friends. After walking all the way from Gultekdi to Law College Road, he reached FTII and met some of his friends. “After enquiring for an application, I got to know that I had to be a graduate,” he says.
Karhade enrolled at Yashwantarao Chavan Open University and graduated in 2007. However, he couldn’t clear the FTII entrance exam. That’s when he joined New Arts College in Ahmednagar for a course in mass communication.
“The kind of films I watched during this time, changed my understanding of cinema. I strongly felt connected to movies by filmmkers such as Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Vittorio De Sica, and Federico Fellini among others. That’s when I decided to make a film that would have something more than just entertainment,” says Karhade, who has already begun writing his next Marathi film, which will go on the floors in September.