National Award winning director, Rajeev Kumar keeps no air about his short film Chamm reaching to Cannes Film Festival 2017. Humbly defining it as an honor, for him the main focus still remains to promote the film on his own land.
Chamm, a 35 minute short film, depicts the life of Dalits in Punjab. Derived from Punjabi literature, Rajeev tells us that his film doesn’t only show the suffering of Dalit community, but also depicts women empowerment.
Before reaching to Cannes, the Mullanpur (Ludhiana)-based director has been screening the film in villages and small localities of Punjab to, and he says, “When your film narrates rural life, it becomes important that it is screened for them. Otherwise, there is no point of making a film like Chamm.”
Being up-front that he will never go into mainstream cinema, Rajeev wants to establish an alternative medium to bring parallel cinema in the limelight. He feels that there is a good amount of subjective films that are never released due to lack of funding.
“I am trying to develop a culture of screening films in villages. The audience is definitely there and in fact they are more prone to watch such films as they are close to reality,” he shares.
The 47-year-old Rajeev grabbed a National Award of his film ‘Nabar’ in 2013. He reveals that producers still hesitate to produce films which show a marginalised section of the society. “There is diversity in cinema, but it’s still under-promoted.”
Talking about his cast, Rajeev tells us that from his actors to art director, everyone worked hard for this film. Meanwhile, he looks forward to release the film in colleges and organise more screenings in villages.
Ask why he avoids bringing his film to multiplex, he explains, “There are people who still cannot afford to buy a ticket in a multiplex. Moreover, they don’t even know that the kind of life they lead is being depicted in films.
“I am trying to create an independent funding with the help of my audience. And I hope that in a long run, this will be frequent in film industry,” Rajeev says on an optimistic note.
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