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Film woven around Anna stir vies for PIFF award

Shot during Hazare's 13-day hunger strike in Delhi last August, Ha Bharat Maza one of seven entries in Marathi film category at international fest

When anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare embarked on his 13-day hunger strike in Delhi in August 2011 demanding a strong Lokpal Bill, the 74-year-old Gandhian not only infused passions among millions to fight against corruption, but also inspired some creative brains to make a film in the backdrop of his movement.


Anna Impact: Team of 'Ha Bharat Maza'

Directed and produced by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar 'Ha Bharat Maza' -- which was shot in Delhi when the second leg of Anna's protest was in progress -- is one of the seven entrants in the Marathi Film category at the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF). "The film has been shortlisted for the Marathi section," confirmed Dr Jabbar Patel, director PIFF, adding that the film was screen on Sunday.


Devika Daftardar, Amol Gole, Sunil Sukthankar, Sumitra Bhave and 
Renuka Daftardar;  Anna Hazare gives interview to a TV channel. 
Pic/Vivek Sabnis

Amol Gole, cinematographer of the film, said, "The idea of starting the film struck us on the Day 3 of Hazare's agitation in Delhi. We wanted to start shooting right away and could not wait to find a producer. So we decided to do it own our own. Fortunately, we got our cast -- actors Vikram Gokhale, Uttara Baokar, Renuka Daftardar, Alok Rajwade, Jeetendra Joshi, Devika Daftardar and Deepa Shriram -- who agreed to work volutarily without charging any money. As soon as things fell in place, we started the film without wasting any time." 

Elaborating on the plot of the film, Sukthankar said, "It is the story of a middle class Sukhatme family going through a dilemma when the atmosphere in the country is changed with Hazar's movement. Everyone in the country has come under the impact of the mass movement and the Sukhatmes are no exception. 

Inspired by anti-graft movement, every family member pledges to lead a corruption free life and fight against malpractices." Sumitra Bhave, one of the directors of the film, said, "The movement had made a major impact on the younger generation which poured onto the streets in support of the Gandhian. They sported Gandhi cap carrying a message 'I am Anna'. The film also deals with issues of corruption in government offices in urban places like Mumbai and Pune." 

"It was a personal decision of the family to support the movement. Though the agitation is still not over, the family is happy that they are with Hazare indirectly and have learnt to the art to lead a corruption free life," she said, adding that the film was appreciated in Goa and Kolhapur festivals. "I like the film because it strikes a chord with the common man who has been boiling from inside over rampant corruption in public life, but could not do anything to put an end to it. The film also preaches about an ideal corruption free society," said Jagdish Kamat, a senior citizen from Kothrud.

TV footage used in making of movie
Around 20 per cent of Ha Bharat Maza is made of news channel footages on Anna Hazare's agitation in Delhi and panel discussions among social and political leaders during prime time. "This is a fast recap of TV coverage during the 13-day agitation. We have deliberately used these footages as a part of the storyline," said Sukthankar

10
The number of days the film was shot in Delhi during Anna Hazare's movement in August 2011

TV footage used in making of movie
Around 20 per cent of Ha Bharat Maza is made of news channel footages on Anna Hazare's agitation in Delhi and panel discussions among social and political leaders during prime time. "This is a fast recap of TV coverage during the 13-day agitation. We have deliberately used these footages as a part of the storyline," said Sukthankar

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