Anil Tiger (left) and Viswa Mohan Virag (centre) near Sujata Cinema Hall in Ranchi on Thursday. (Hardeep Singh)
Hazaribagh-based producer-cum-director Viswa Mohan Virag, who holds the distinction of producing the first-ever feature film in Khortha — a Jharkhand dialect — has now decided to train his camera on the glaring issue of human trafficking in the state.
The film, christened Sendra: The Killing, is scheduled to go on the floors from October. It will focus mainly on the scary reality of young girls being trafficked from the rural fringes to various metros.
Speaking to The Telegraph on Thursday on the sidelines of Suhana Safar, the four-day film festival to commemorate a century of Indian cinema organised by the state government at Ranchi’s Sujata Miniplex, Virag said child trafficking had reared its ugly head as a socio-economic crime of immense gravity.
“Trafficking of girls is a serious issue that affects nearly every village of the state. Through my film, I wanted to highlight how serious the issue really is,” Virag, whose Khortha film Goriya Tor Kirya (Beloved! I Swear By Your Name) was screened on the second day of the film festival at Sujata Cinema, said.
He added that he had already finished putting into place the title song of Sendra at a studio in Mumbai recently.
“Sendra will be a film that will boast acting talent from Jharkhand. The movie will be shot in Rajmahal and Delhi. National School of Drama (NSD)-trained Deepak Lohar, who is a Ranchi boy, will play the lead. Jhumri Tilaiya-based martial arts specialist Anil Tiger will also be seen in a support role along with other artistes like Rajesh Akela, Pradeep Raj and Raja,” Virag said.
Prodded about the plot, the director said the story would be that of a widowed mother, who belongs to the Pahadia tribe. Her daughter is lured to Delhi by a trafficker — who later goes on to become a minister — and his son.
The character of Lohar somehow gets to know about the fate of his sister who has been trafficked and decides to bring her back home. The film basically revolves around Lohar and his search for the girl, revenge and justice.
“The initial shooting will take place at Rajmahal before we move to Delhi. We expect shooting to be wrapped up in some 40-45 days after which we will start editing and mixing,” Virag said, adding that the audience can look forward to a March 2013 release.
The entire cost of the project, he estimated, would come to around Rs 60 lakh. The film is expected to have a running time of 150 minutes and will have two songs and “a whole lot of fight scenes” promised the maker.
“An estimated 35,000 girls from the state become victims of trafficking every year and end up working as domestic helps, facing sexual and physical exploitation. This film should be a eye-opener,” he signed off.
Sendra will be Virag’s fifth feature film after Maha Shaktishali (Hindi), Tikuli ki Laj (Bhojpuri), Gita aur Quaran (Hindi) and Goriya Tor Kirya (Khortha).