By Deepa Krishnan
For the last 6 years, NCPA has been organizing a Marathi Film Festival to showcase critically acclaimed and national award winning films. This year, I went with my friend Kiran to attend the screening of Shrihari Sathe's "Ek Hazaarachi Note".
The films screened at the festival are sub-titled in English. Although I can follow spoken Marathi well, it helped to have sub-titles, especially since Ek Hazaarachi Note is set in Vidarbha, and there were many nuances of the rural dialect that I could not otherwise follow.
NCPA's Marathi Film Festival is called 'Nave Valan', meaning, New Directions. Valan actually means "turning"; and the festival's name aptly reflects the new-wave of Marathi films that we have been seeing recently. There has been a new-found interest in Marathi cinema since 2004, when Shwaas was selected as India's official entry for the Oscars. Budgets for Marathi cinema have increased; and we are also seeing an increase in the number of films produced. But more importantly, we are seeing talented people come forward.
I enjoyed Ek Hazaarachi Note very much - it is the tale of life in a small village, told sensitively and simply.
The festival screening included face-time with the cast and crew; and I loved meeting the script writer, Shrikant Bojewar, who did such a great job of bringing the culture of Vidharba district to life. Shekhar Sathe, who produced the film, is also a friend, so we all went to dinner later and discussed the making of the film.
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and have decided that I simply must put Nave Valan on my annual calendar! Thank you, NCPA.