| A poster of Das Capital |
Gaya-based scriptwriter Shaiwal has recently won the best script award at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival for his film Das Capital.
Set in the Eighties, the film, directed by Rajan Kothari and Dayal Nihalani, addresses the issue of corruption in the government machinery.
“The story is about a junior government official who is caught in the vicious cycle of circumstances and corruption and is forced to sell off the corpse of his wife to a man who deals in skeletons illegally,” said Shaiwal.
He has also written the dialogue for the film and lyrics of the songs used in it.
Yashpal Sharma plays the protagonist in the film, while Jameel Khan of Gangs of Wasseypur fame plays an important role. Das Capital is yet to be released in cinemas, but has been invited to a number of film festivals in Norway, Canada, Vietnam and US.
Shaiwal, though, is not new to awards or festivals.
Two films — Damul (1984) and Mrityudand (1998) — based on his stories and directed by Prakash Jha did the rounds of international film festivals and bagged a number of awards.
The first film, which won the 1985 National Award for Best Feature Film, dealt with the issue of caste oppression in Bihar. The second, starring Madhuri Dixit, focussed on gender oppression.
“Film festivals are opportunities for actors, writers, artistes and producers to showcase their works. If the films win prizes, they can also be marketed very well,” he said.
“It is difficult for Indian cinema to compete with big budget Hollywood productions. But if a film has a good script, it can be made into a good work of art.”
Asked what recent films have inspired him, Shaiwal said: “Films like I am Kalam and Paan Singh Tomar (starring Irrfan Khan) have carved out a niche for themselves. These days, many new films are being made that are both commercially successful and very well made. Such films also allow the artistes to carve out a niche for themselves.”
Films apart, Shaiwal has also earned a name for himself in the world of literature. More than 150 stories written by him have been published in a number of magazines.
“I have worked for more than 30 years in different blocks of Gaya. I have served at Manpur, Gaya town and Jehanabad,” he said. “During my professional life, I learnt about the different problems of villagers. I have based all my stories on my experiences in the villages of central Bihar.”
He is also the recipient of Renu Award, Ganga Saran Singh Award and Banarsi Prasad Bhojpuri Award for nine anthologies of his stories. Shaiwal is not one to be satisfied with past laurels though. He is already working on his next script, Babylon, assisted by his son Shubhankar Shaiwal.
“The story is about developed and underdeveloped nations working together to fight recession,” he said, unwilling to reveal more.