An 11-minute, non-feature film in Kurukh dialect, shot by a tribal youth from Lohardaga, has made the cut to the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held in Goa this November.
Niranjan Kujur’s Pahada — meaning mathematical tables — will be the first film in a tribal dialect of the region to be screened at such a prestigious event. In all, IFFI will screen 16 short films.
The 11-minute film shows a tribal schoolboy trying to memorise a maths table under a lantern’s light, but bullets exchanged between Naxalites and paramilitary forces disturb his concentration.
Munnu, the eight-year-old boy, however persists with his attempts to learn the table as his father has threatened him with a thrashing if he does not succeed.
Niranjan, a third-year student of direction and screenplay writing at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in Calcutta, said the film was shot on campus.
“Through the film, I have tried to depict the lives of villagers caught in the crossfire between Naxalites and paramilitary forces and show the impact on the area’s socio-political situation,” Kujur said, adding he had not expected his film to be so successful.
Niranjan, who earlier graduated in journalism and mass communication from Manipal University, also worked with Shriprakash, a noted filmmaker from the state.
“Niranjan’s film going to IFFI is a moment of pride for all of us. More such young men from the region should come up and make films on relevant socio-political issues,” said Shriprakash.
Pahada was also screened at Imagine India Film Festival 2012 in Madrid, Spain.
Apart from Pahada, some of the other short films to be screened include 23 Winters (Kashmiri /Hindi) by Rajesh S. Jala, A Dream called America (Hindi) by Anoop Sathyan, Behind the Mist (Malayalam) by Babu Kambrath and By Lane 2 (English/Assamese) by Utpal Datta.