October 24, 2008 2:16:57 am
Having won many prestigious International awards Kranti Kanade’s debutant film Mahek was publicly screened for the first time in the country at the Asian Film Festival
It has been premiered at the 51st London Film Festival, has won the best film award at the Houston International Film Festival and has even been included in the University syllabus at the Otterbein College Ohio. After much globetrotting Mahek was finally unveiled at the Asian Film Festival for the first public screening in the country.
Seeing the world through childrens’ eyes and examining their rights, Mahek is about a small girl’s journey towards self-understanding. With many more awards and glory to its credit, Mahek in a way exemplifies Pune for the film not only has most of its cast and crew from the city, but has also been entirely shot and edited here. Speaking on its making director Kranti Kanade said, “Shot in just twelve and a half days, there was a certain faith I had in the kids and the senior actors had in me, that has come out so beautifully. Throughout the making of the film we have lived what we have shown in the film. For instance the set would be a smoke free zone since we were working with children. The embargo made many of the crew members quit smoking altogether. Although screened in many foreign countries earlier I was most nervous and scared about the screening here, since Mahek is born in this very soil.”
Noted artiste Lalan Sarang who has played an important role in the film also saw it for the first time at the festival. “I have played a small role which is very influential in Mahek’s life.Working in the film has been enormously satisfying because of the respect and admiration the young generation has for us. There are many things that we are unaware of and this coming together leads to exchange of experience and knowledge,” added Sarang.
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The film has used actual sounds without dubbing and the entire process from the conception to the completion has happened in the city except for the final print in Mumbai. “Cinema is personal again. It no more needs a huge budget or a big star cast or relocation from one’s own land. This was the attitude and confidence when I began the film, and Mahek proved me right. I believe in pure expressions and the laurels it has won have been very surprising. I am astonished to see that the more personal you speak the more it resonates all over the world. Mahek has been my most personal prayer,” added Kanade.
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