Out of the eleven entries, a total of seven Konkani “non-feature” films have been chosen in the Goa section at the 53rd International Film Festival of India. The casts and crews who were part of the selected seven all had the sense of accomplishment on their faces, when The Peacock ventured to meet them.
Ardo Dis, Before I Sleep, Nimnya Disak and The White Dream were screened on 23rd November and The White Shirt, Wind Chimes and Goy Swatantryache Homkhan are scheduled for 27th November. “It took almost one and a half months to just study the script and the characters. It was a bit difficult because it was about schizophrenia and I had to learn about it in detail,” said Alisha Menezes, actress in The White Dream.
“Prior to this film I knew there were such issues, but after studying it I have begun to look differently at the people who suffer from this.”
Playing a character in the movie does change the life of an actor in some way, and the empathy Menezes developed opened a soft corner in her heart for people going through mental health issues.
Directed by Himanshu Singh, the film Ardo Dis has just two characters – a married couple. “They talk about their misunderstandings and how love and understanding overpowers every ugliness any relationship can face.” says Ugam Shashikant Zambaulikar who plays the husband. Before I Sleep by Arvin Vaz, follows an estranged and dysfunctional family of three. Sobita Kudtarkar, the lead actress, said this film explores “how being in such a dysfunctional family affects the relationships and whether a good act before one’s death can possibly make things better, for the ones left behind.”
“This is my debut film as a director,” Rajaram Turi proudly told The Peacock. His film Nimnya Disak dwells on how we humans should pull back our sense of humanity rather than losing it in our dayto-day lives. “Though a debutant, I was quite comfortable directing a crew of around 40 people,” he said. “Just as the wind has to strike against wind chimes to make a sound, we as humans require someone to connect with us to find the positive energy from within,” says a quote from Wind Chimes. The writer and director Vardhan Kamat, a familiar face in Goa, says, “Niyati is depressed and tangled, like the knots in a rope. A therapist comes along to try and light up her path and brings in a lot of questions too.
What we On-Screen Goans need to see is how many of them get answered. We think the wind that strikes the wind chimes is stronger and that’s how it makes the sound. But if we pay more attention we know that the wind itself has also undergone a lot of obstacles in its journey.” Kamat has also directed The White Shirt. “The film chronicles the perception of society towards an individual – how as an individual you react towards it is the basis of this film. It felt very prestigious to walk the red carpet at IFFI.
When you experience such things, it inspires you to do better.” Sobita also spoke about the film Wagro in which she acts. The short film made its way to the Cannes Short Film Corner, Melbourne film festival, and now the Indian Panorama at IFFI. “This recognition has ignited a different level of seriousness among the Goan filmmakers.
More teams are coming forward and I personally believe with optimism and hopefulness that this is the ‘new wave in Konkani cinema’,” said the young actress. Talking about Goy Swatantryache Homkhan , the director, writer, and producer, Jyoti Kunkolienkar shared her inspiration behind this documentary, “I always wanted to showcase the legacy of all the freedom fighters, the way they smiled at all the tortures inflicted upon them for Goa, for the generations coming ahead.”