After successfully raising funds from the general public for the national award winning film ‘I Am’, producer duo Sanjay Suri and Onir are again taking the crowd-funding route for their new venture – a love story of a 14-year-old Dalit boy and an upper-caste girl.
“It’s great to be acting in and co-producing ‘Chauranga’ with Onir. The story is about a 14-year-old Dalit boy who falls in love with a 16-year-old upper-caste girl from Jharkhand,” Suri told PTI.
“I have an important role in the film, in which you will also see Radhika Apte (of ‘I Am’, ‘Antaheen’ fame).”
The producers have taken the crowd funding route as they want the audience to be a part of the filmmaking process. A target of Rs 50 lakh from public audience has been set and people can contribute via the film’s website.
“Apart from raising funds from general public, we have support of the National Films Development Corporation of India (NFDC). We’ve also received grant from Goteborg International Film Festival, Sweden and are in discussion with international co-producers,” says director Bikas Ranjan Mishra.
Inspired by a true event, ‘Chauranga’ is a fictional account of six days in a dark corner of India. It’s a story of the violence of class oppression that still exists in rural India.
The Dalit boy is growing up in an unnamed corner of India. His dream is to go to a town school like his elder brother and his reality is to look after the pig that his family owns.
His only escape is to sit atop a jamun tree and adore his beloved passing by on her scooter. His unspoken love is as true as his mother’s helplessness who cleans the cowsheds of the local strongman’s mansion, with whom she also has a secret liaison.
When the boy’s elder brother comes on a vacation to the village, he soon finds out about his younger brother’s infatuation. He tries to makes him realize the need to express his love. The film is at an advanced pre-production stage right now.
“Our cast is a fair mix of actors and non-actors. We’ve chosen to work with non-actors for our lead roles that happen to be kids. It’s fun to work with children – you learn so much,” says Mishra.