Toronto, December 02: Indian cinema has a strong reputation of showcasing pride and honour, chivalry and heroism, with an undertone of caste and religion. However, India has been a secular, sovereign democratic nation for ages now! A narrative that brings out a character who is an underdog but courteous and has the philanthropic goal to transform the social structure is often seen as a film of “no commercial value.”
But thanks to the change of time, regional directors like Shailesh Narwade, hailing from the Marathi film industry, question this trend and bring out “Jayanti,” which means “Birth Anniversary,” a celebration of many path-breaking solutions to unite the race against idolatry and casteism.
Produced by Meliorist Film Studio, starring Ruturaj Wankhede, Titeeksha Tawde and Milind Shinde Jayanti was theatrically released on November 12, 2021 across all movie theatres in Maharashtra.
Against a steady competition from Bollywood big-budget movies and post-pandemic lockdown, Jayanti had an overwhelming response from the crowd in the theatres, owing to its untouched narrative, a new theme altogether in the industry.
Director, Shailesh Narwade says, “Jayanti is a Hindi/Marathi word which resonates with one and all in India. It is a social and political event where the general public gathers to celebrate the anniversary of great historical personalities. The title “Jayanti” was selected for the same reason, as it is a familiar word in every house of the country. It brings up flashes of memories like happiness, community gathering, celebrations, cultural programs, etc. Every social or political group celebrates their own Jayanti in India.”
Narwade explains the idea behind the film, “In April 2016, I saw many big and small social movements and organizations in India and abroad preparing for and organizing the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. The Jayanti was celebrated in almost every nook and corner of the country, including on social media with great zeal. However, the way in which some of the celebrations were organized, especially those witnessed by me, it triggered a few questions in my mind.”
He explains, “I started wondering what will happen to those youth who are giving so much of their time and energy for such celebrations? How do such celebrations align with the purpose of their lives? Do they even have any purpose in life? How can Jayanti become a catalyst and a true occasion for celebrating the icons and the transformation of these youth? The more I thought about it, the more I realized the complexity of the subject and eventually realized that perhaps a full-length feature film script could be a good way to explore answers to these questions.”
“The movie centers around the journey of a misled young man Santya who is an aggressive goon. He is a matter of concern and fear for his family and society. However, a murder in the neighborhood poses a serious challenge of identity before him,” explains Narwade. “This story narrates how this goon becomes a learned and socially responsible person to bring change in himself and the society. It reflects the radical transformation of the passive subjectivity attached to Dalit-Bahujan characters,” adds Narwade.
The film has received a lot of attention in India, and of late has plans to be screened in cinemas across Australian cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth, parts of the United States like Michigan, Washington, New Jersey, Cambridge, cities in the United Kingdom like Leicester, London, Toronto in Canada and Dubai. There are few more international cities where the demand of enthusiastic fans is approaching the makers to host the movie.
Vaishali Duphare, the person behind the Toronto screening of Jayanti, says, “We are very honoured with the response that the Indians residing in Toronto have shown towards the film. It was all word of mouth that spread far and wide in GTA, and we have a lot of people requesting for multiple screenings too.” She adds, “Owing to the new COVID restrictions and social distancing rules, seats are limited. So we are getting several calls and inquiries for more shows and screenings.”
The movie will presently have a single screening with English subtitles as scheduled on December 5th in the city’s Beach neighbourhood, Fox Theatre, at 9:30 AM.
Come and enjoy ‘Jayanti’ Marathi movie! Buy your tickets @ the following link:https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/jayanti-with-english-subtitles-tickets-217701981487
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