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“This is the first biopic on a singer that I have made”, says Director Girish Mohite at PIFF

Day 5 was conducted by Samar Nakhate, Creative Director of PIFF at NFAI at Law College Road on Monday, December 6, 2021.



Samar Nakhate in conversation with Girish Mohite, Director, Taath Kana.

The ‘Candid Talks’ session of  19th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) Day 5 was conducted by Samar Nakhate, Creative Director of PIFF at NFAI at Law College Road on Monday, December 6, 2021. Nakhate interacted with the team members of movies from various categories, which included Saibal Mitra, Director of ‘A Holy Conspiracy, Script-writer Bharat Sasne and Actors Vaibhav Kale and Kajal Raut of ‘Kalokhachya Parambhya’(Prop Shoots of Darkness) and  Girish Mohite, Director of ‘Thaat Kana’ (Standing Tall).

1) A Holy Conspiracy | Direction: Saibal Mitra

Saibal Mitra has worked with major film directors of Bengal like Goutam Ghosh and with Ronald Joffe and has assisted in more than 5 feature films before starting independent productions. He had been making television series, Documentaries, Ad films, corporate films since 1986.

Samar Nakhate in conversation with Sailbal Mitra, Director, A Holy Conspiracy.

The film ‘A Holy Conspiracy’ which had its first screening through PIFF stars Soumitra Chattopadhyay and Naseeruddin Shah. It revolves around Kunal Joseph Baske – whose father converted to Christianity to access social and educational opportunities for his son – a teacher of science in a Christian missionary school in small town Hillolgunj, and is accused of refusing to follow the School’s doctrine to teach the Biblical story of Creation before teaching Darwinian Evolution. He is subjected to suspension from service, and put into custody. It becomes clear that Kunal’s interaction with the School had been utilized by the Hindu fundamentalist political party for its own immediate electoral needs by the fundamentalist party’s local chief, who is also a Santhal, but has been turned by the dominant religion for his own personal political gains. The filmmakers acknowledge their debt to the famous Scopes Monkey Trial in the US in 1925, on which this film is loosely structured.

“I came across an American drama called ‘Inherit the Wind’ and created a plot from various sources to make an Indian version of it. The film focuses on majoritarianism, tribal policies and discrimination in India, which is marred by communal politics,” said Mitra who calls himself an old school film-maker.

2) Taath Kana (Standing Tall) | Direction: Girish Mohite

“As a film-maker, I have done films on various topics but this is the first time I am doing a biopic on a doctor’s life,” says Girish Mohite, director of the film Taath Kana. The film is based on a true story. It’s a biopic of the neuro spine surgeon Dr. P. S. Ramani, who first invented the surgery on spine, which is known as PLIFF that helps patients to stand tall with an erect spine.

Samar Nakhate in conversation with Girish Mohite, Director, Taath Kana.

“Besides medical knowledge, one needs divinity and humanity to heal another human and we wanted to do a film on Dr. P.S. Ramani who is known to give ‘another life to his patients’ through his surgeries.”

Mohite and his team have documented the doctor’s early life about how he started his career with meagre savings and how he received scholarship to study in the UK. The 25-day shoot was shot in Mumbai.

“The entertainment value of such biopic is less but we put in special efforts to make it more entertaining and received a standing ovation,” he said. The film had its first public screening through PIFF.

Mohite has a Degree in Fine Arts with a specialization in Photography. He has also directed Marathi and Hindi serials on television. Most of his Marathi films were super hits and won him numerous nominations as Best Director. Till date he has done about 15-16 films.

3) Kalokhachya Parambya (Prop Shoots of Darkness) | Direction: Makarand Anaspure, Bharat Sasane, Vaibhav Kale, Kajal Raut

Kalokhachya Parambya (Prop shoots of Darkness) focuses on the conflict of young orphan, Alif over spirituality and material world. Helpful  Alif lives at a divine shrine and is passionate about learning tambourine from a dervish Rahim, who is also medicating the villagers with herbal medicines. Rahim is convinced after keeping certain conditions that Alif should not follow lust in his life. Alif with his devotion and passion to learn reaches to the state of spirituality quickly but Rahim’s third wife arrives from town to live in the village and brings her material perception in the idyllic life. Her close proximity lures Alif and the spark of lust is ignited by the lady asking him to accompany her to run a tea stall in town. As already told by his mentor Rahim that lust will ruin the path of spirituality Alif becomes mad as he’s unable to understand the intention of the lady who lures him to the mundane material world.

Samar Nakhate in conversation with Team of the film ‘ Kalokhachya Parambya’. (L-R) Nakhate, Kajal Raut, Bharat Sasane and Vaibhav Kale

“The movie mainly focuses on the character psychology of the actors. The film tries to express the unexpressed side of an artist; and service of an artist to the society,” said Vaibhav Kale, protagonist of the film. The name of the film was suggested by Nana Patekar.

The script is unique and stands out due to its simplicity and hard-hitting impact. A detailed-oriented approach has been followed—right from the selection of locations to that of cast and crew by director Makarand Anaspure who has over 100 films to his credit and has bagged over 100 honours as prizes and awards to date.

“The categorization of the characters and their transformation from one personality to another was challenging. We had to intermittently alter our moods and display emotions and had to shoot in the village for over 7 days,” said Kajal Raut, lead actress in the film.