The subjects and scope of four forthcoming films being produced by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) are testimonies to one of the organization’s mandates: to make and promote cinema from different parts of the country, on subjects ignored by mainstream commercial cinema. Here are the synopses and the people behind them:
Directed by Priya Krishnaswamy and written in Marathi, Hindi and English, ‘Gangoobai’ is the story of an elderly widow who has lived her whole life in the tiny colonial hill station of Matheran, set against the Sahyadri range. She works as domestic help in a few homes, among them that of the wealthy Hodiwala family which has a weekend retreat in Matheran.
Gangoobai’s quiet life is disrupted when, one day, she sees the Hodiwalas’ teenage daughter wearing a magnificent designer Parsi sari of white Chinese motifs embroidered on a background of purple silk. The old woman falls in love with this exotic piece of clothing and and longs to own one herself.
Against all odds, she saves the money over four years of hard work and finally finds herself in Mumbai.
A Bhojpuri film directed by Mangesh Joshi, ‘He...’ is about Hari, a 13-year-old runaway
ragpicker living with his uncle Krishna in a Mumbai slum. One day he is selected to act in a short film named ‘Mirror’ as a lead actor. His friends start calling him “Hero”, fuelling his dreams. For two months, “Hero” waits for the shooting of his film to begin. While waiting to fulfil his dreams, Hari confronts society’s ills and finds himself helpless.
Girish Malik’s ‘Jal’ is set against the surrealistic and eerily romantic backdrop of the Rann of Kutch. It is about hope for its inhabitants—humans and flamingos. Kim has come, just like the migratory flamingos, from a faraway land and stirs up lust and greed in the community, challenging its innocence. Against this backdrop, Bakka, the central character, wins over nature, finds water, marries for love and yet is engulfed by Kutch’s cruel sands.
The Good Road
Gyan Correa’s ‘The Good Road’ depicts a confluence of different lives. Pappu is a truck driver who can’t support his family. After an attack on the road, he surrenders his vehicle and stages an accident. Pappu will “die”, the truck will go down a treacherous ‘ghat’ in flames. Pappu is to undertake his last journey as a truck driver.
The Good Road
David and Kiran, a married couple from Mumbai, are opposites, with different personalities.
Poonam is the 11-year-old child of a prostitute from Mumbai. Her mother is dead and she has turned to her grandmother, the only person she knows outside the red-light district.
The disappointments and unfulfilled promises of these characters emerge as the film unfolds and they meet accidentally.