Panaji: For the second consecutive year, a Sanskrit film opened the Indian Panorama section of the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which is under way here.
Ishti, directed by G. Prabha, a retired Sanskrit professor from Kerala, depicts the plight of Namboothiri women of mid 20th century Kerala. Having veteran actor Nedumudi Venu and youngsters Athira and Anoop in the lead roles, the film narrates how young Namboothiri Brahmins successfully challenged the orthodox, patriarchal traditions of their community.
"For me, the film is a realization of a 15-year-old dream. I have been learning and teaching Sanskrit for years. When I thought of making a film, I wanted it to be in Sanskrit. If people like Kavalam Narayana Panicker can make plays in Sanskrit, why can't a film be made in that language," an elated Prabha said.
He said the dialogues in the film were written in a lighter way considering the difficulties a common man might face to understand Sanskrit. He said the responses from the audience now in Goa and earlier from Kolkata have made him think of a second film.
Asked about the film being dropped from International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) to be held next month, Prabha said he did not wish to create a controversy over it.
Actor Jijoy who played a pivotal role in the film said it was a great attempt to create a film with progressive ideals in Sanskrit.
Producer P.S. Chanthu, actors Anoop, Athira and Preeja attended the Indian Panorama inauguration.
Union minister for information & broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu opened the Indian Panorama featuring 26 feature and 21 non-feature films. Complementing the Indian filmmakers for their story telling ability, Naidu said “we are here today to celebrate the boundless power of the creative medium of cinema”. He further said that Indian Panorama presented a platform for young, aspiring and independent film makers from India to showcase their craft to an audience from across the world.
The jury of feature films, headed by well-known director and producer, Rajendra Singh Babu, has selected 26 films out of 230 eligible entries. Whereas, in the non-feature category, jury chaired by well-known documentary filmmaker Arvind Sinha has picked 21 films out of 199 eligible entries.
Manipuri film ‘Ima Sabitri’, directed by Bobo Khuraijam was the opening non-feature film of Indian Panorama 2016. The film is an intimate portrayal of Sabitri, who is an Indian stage actor and one of the notable theater personalities in Manipur. Indian Panorama this year has 5 entries from the North East.