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Kurmali’s big-screen debut
- Producer-actor of first film for 80-lakh strong Kurmi community eyes Diwali release

Far away from Bollywood’s big Diwali dazzlers Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardar comes another sparkler — the first-ever Kurmali feature film Bhalo Basa Alor Asha.

The maiden feature film in the language spoken by around 80 lakh Kurmi people in Jharkhand and Bengal will release at Shyam Talkies in Jamshedpur’s Parsudih area on November 13, competing with the likes of Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn.

Tell that to producer-actor Raju Mitra (27) and he says modestly: “Not at all. Ours is a small film with a Rs 5-lakh budget. But we are excited as it is the first Kurmali film.”

Mitra added that auditions for the two-and-half-hour film would be held on Thursday at Hotel Boulevard in Bistupur, to give local talents a chance.

“The roles are challenging. Our script empowers widows and encourages their remarriage,” Mitra, who has trained at the Anjan Choudhary Film Academy in Calcutta, said.

On this film, Mitra said they would shoot in scenic locales of Gamharia and Seraikela in Seraikela Kharsawan, Ghatshila in East Singhbhum and Ranchi. “We’ll shoot right after auditions,” he promised

Though lead actors apart from Mitra haven’t been decided, the socially relevant film will have a surprise cameo by JMM East Singhbhum district president Ramesh Hansda.

Mitra added that the crew was final, with Sourabh Suman Jha as the director, Solomon Das behind the camera and Deepanjay Roy as music director. Lyrics have been penned by Dhruv Raj and script written by Sushant Mahto.

“We are confident that Bhalo Basa Alor Asha will shape up well. We’ll invite state deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto, who also holds the art and culture portfolio, for a special screening at Michael John Auditorium before its release. We plan to screen it in theatres in Jharkhand and in Bengal’s Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore,” Mitra said, adding DVDs would be released later.

Kurmis comprise nearly 25 per cent of Jharkhand’s population and Kurmali is also spoken widely in Bengal.

Mitra has won awards in Jamshedpur and Ranchi for sensitive short films on homosexuality and road accidents.