By Ahana Bhattacharya
Mumbai– National Award-winning filmmaker Gurvinder Singh feels MAMI is the place to be for independent filmmakers. His latest feature film “Khanaur” (Bitter Chestnut) had its India premiere this week at the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star 2019.
“Whenever I make a film now, I look forward to its India premiere at MAMI. The way MAMI has supported independent filmmaking, it has become the most sought-after platform for makers of this genre. There is a very enthusiastic audience comprising students, young filmmakers, people working in the industry, be it from Bollywood or any other part of India. The atmosphere and interactions at MAMI have always been top-notch. They ask questions pertaining to the cinematic aesthetics and individual struggles because a lot of young filmmakers want to understand the journey of a filmmaker. I always enjoy it,” said Gurvinder Singh.
National Award-winner Gurvinder Singh’s earlier feature films such as “Anhe Ghode Da Daan” and “Chauthi Koot” have been widely acclaimed across the global film festival circuit. Singh’s new film “Khanaur”, which recently had its world premiere at the 24th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), differs from his earlier efforts. Unlike those two films, which are based on Punjabi literature, the story of “Khanaur” is inspired by the filmmaker’s own life.
“The film is set in a place called Bir in Himachal. I moved there four years ago and happened to run a small café there. There was a 17-year-old boy, Kishen, who was from a remote village about 50 kilometres away. I could just see the contrast between where I lived and the village he came from. There was this sense of abundance in terms of nature, food and everything, but still there was no satisfaction with quality of living. There is a strong sense of attachment to the community, yet they want to go out and explore life because aspirations have changed in today’s world. On the other hand, people like me, who can afford to give up living in the city, go there seduced by nature and an organic way of life. The film is about this contrast,” said Singh.
The film is made in Pahari, Hindi and English and features Kishan Katwal, who actually works in the cafe run by the filmmaker in Bir.
On the work front, the filmmaker now plans to focus on a Punjabi film set in rural Punjab. (IANS)