Kranti Kanade-A new film-maker on the horizon
Vijay Vedala New Delhi, July 6 (PTI) Indian writer-director Kranti Kanade's maiden directorial venture, which portrays a 11-year-old girl's journey towards self-discovery and now part of US university syllabus is all set for a post September release.

'Mahek,' that fetched for Kanade international festival awards has been included as a part of the university syllabus in the curriculum of Otterbein College, Ohio.

The film revolves around a middle class girl who discovers "her true talent and inner self."

"We are forcing every child and youth to enter the rat race of economic affluence. But let us not forget, for affluence of mind Buddhas and Mahaviras left their throne and diamonds. Mahek, perhaps, carries this observation about India, rather than a message, to the world," says Kanade.

The film has already garnered 'affectionate reviews' after being shown in around 16 international film festivals and receiving the nomination for Best film nine times, winning twice in Hollywood and Houston.

Kanade, a product of FTII had in 2002 won 3 National Awards for his thesis film 'Chaitra' (Spring) with Sonali Kulkarni in the lead.

So why did Kanade choose film making as a career? "During my stint at the Ferguson College in Pune, I took a one year sabbatical to travel to north India. I found that every 200 miles the language, dialect, colours, ways and mindsets of people change but there emerged a clear pattern in their emotional responses and interest in stories. So I decided to learn films as that seemed a viable, stomach-fill-able "tell tales" career."

As an ardent observer of Indian cinema Kanade points out that for the appreciation of meaningful cinema a culture of good cinema viewing needs to be cultivated. "A nationwide chain of cinemas that exclusively show different or new cinema is very important," he observes.

"Even today, we don't have films as part of education curriculum. We think cinema is not something that should be taken seriously. That needs to change. Otherwise we will end up with generations to come who can only dance and sing, but may not have the ability to think," the young filmmaker says.

While many other first timers complain about having a rough time finding financiers, Kanade has a different take.

"Contrary to popular belief it's quite easy to raise finance. My producers, the CFSI (Children's Film Society India) is a people's company for people. They were very supportive and never held me back."

Kanade gets excited when asked about his experience with 'Mahek' that had an international crew. "It's amazing to work with people from different countries different cultures. Sometimes they understand things just by looking at it. And then you realize how similar, deeply, we all are."

The Pune-based filmmaker however is critical of Bollywood, for its lack of originality. "Barring a few exceptions, it's regressive on the whole. And because it never nurtured writers, it suffers from plagiarism and lack of world view."

Post 'Mahek', Kannade will be busy with a 'boarding school drama', an Indian film in English, shot near Pune with a mixture of Indian and foreign crew.

"NFDC is my partner and we have already raised 60 per cent finance and seeking the rest as we are still polishing the screenplay. I'm positive it will get international distribution," says Kanade about his new venture adding that he has succeeded in roping in a LA based producer too.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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