When an unusual love story embraces social concern and is played out brilliantly on the silver screen,awards are expected to pour in. Marathi film Jogva (The Awakening) proved this last Saturday,winning top honours in five major categories of the 56th National Film Awards best film on social issue,best actor (Upendra Limaye),best music (Ajay-Atul),best singer-male (Hariharan) and best singer-female (Shreya Ghoshal).
Ever since Jogva released in mid-2009,it has been collecting awards at various state-level film festivals. We have received 37 state awards so far. However,winning the national awards is something very special to us, says director Rajeev Patil. In fact,buoyed by the films national awards sweep,its producer IDream Production is now planning to re-release Jogva soon.
The celebration over Jogvas win is not restricted to its cast and crew alone. The national recognition for it further establishes the new wave that has been sweeping the Marathi cinema for nearly five years now boosting the quality of films made in this regional industry.
Its the content of Jogva as well as the excellent handling of the subject that make the film so special, says Limaye,who shut the world out for nearly four months while shooting for the film in early 2008. Though he had no inkling that Jogva would bring him the best actor trophy,he never doubted that it would be a career defining role.
Jogva is based on two novels and a short story. The film traces the story of 16-year-old Putla (Mukta Barve) whose carefree life is curtailed by the superstitious society that dedicates her to the Goddess Yellamma as a jogtin. Revolting against it,she joins a music troupe and develops a relationship with a musician.
Abandoned by her lover,Putla finds support and strength in Tayappa (Limaye) a man who too has been forced to become Yellammas jogatini and leads the life of a homosexual.
Though set in rural western Maharashtra,Jogvas story has a universal appeal. We are trying to distribute Jogva worldwide. It has already been shown in Italy,Iran and Turkey, says Ashish Bhatnagar,CEO of IDream Production.
IDream has roped in Rajeev Patil once again to direct another Marathi film titled Pangera. Based on a novel,the film focuses on environmental deterioration and exploitation of farmers by tracing the changes that have taken place in a Maharashtra village over a decade.