Samit Kakkar, the director of the film, has been involved in filmmaking for nearly a decade now. On his way to Marathi International Cinema and Theater Awards (MICTA) in Hong Kong, the 33-year-old pinpointed on the need to have a dance drama -- which was screened at Jagram Film Festival -- being different from usual.
What according to you makes Marathi cinema work now?
Content. The most promising part about this gradual change is it’s not confined to a few filmmakers anymore. Right across the spectrum, we see Marathi filmmakers coming up with films as varied as Balak Palak, Kaksparsh, Duniyadari and Anumati happening. How else can one explain a Marathi film like Aayna Ka Bayna having hip-hop in it?
So what contributed to the lull that preceded this change?
I think complacency played a huge part. Also, the audience seemed happy with what they were being offered. They were a bit of variety and they were successful too. Take Dada Kondke and his brand of comedy. He was splendid with his films numbering silver jubilees after silver jubilees. Imitation of Bollywood is often blamed to be the reason for the decline in Marathi cinema. I feel that’s unfair. The local sensibility has been quite distinct and the identity -- be it a good film or bad -- has always been there.
Why did you decide to make your directorial debut with a Marathi film?
Even though I’m not a Maharashtrian and I can’t speak fluent Marathi, I knew Aayna Ka Bayna had to be in this particular language. One of the reasons must have been the financial constraints that I would have faced if it were made in Hindi. But some things are meant to be, right? I don’t know if it would have travelled to 14 international film festivals and won so many awards. Did you know that just three days ago, it bagged five prizes at Cinerockom Film Festival in California?
Speaking of film festivals, they are everywhere nowadays and popular, too.
To be frank, as a country, we lack modes of entertainment that a family can avail of. It’s either cinema hall or TV. The rising popularity of film festivals has something to do with this factor. You see little kids accompanying their parents and making the most of the choices. It’s great to witness this.
Between production and direction, what do you enjoy more?
Directing, of course. Production can be a pain. Thankfully, my parents are active producers so that helps my case.
Uchalya is happening. It’s based on a true story of a community of thieves. The original story is written by Lakshman Gaikwad. Though there are some issues going on with the perpetual right of the book, I can assure that the film is happening very soon and will release in 2014. Jitendra Joshi (of the Tukaram fame) is playing a lead role in it.