Rudraksh Adventure Pvt. Ltd. presentation, producer-director Sanjiv Jaiswal’s hard hitting film SHUDRA THE RISING deals with a serious issue. Sanjiv has earlier produced FAREB staring Shilpa Shetty, Shamita Shetty and Manoj Bajpayee. With SHUDRA he is debuting as director. GLAMGOLD met him to talk about his latest venture.
GG) How did the idea of making SHUDRA come?
SJ) it all began a couple of years back when I was watching a film on Babasaheb on this very day, Ambedkar Jayanti, that an old man came forward & shared with me the extreme levels of atrocities a particular section of the society has been exposed to for centuries. Old man further shared how people of a particular section of the society were made to live like animals, with a look that is frightening even to imagine. They were made to wear a broom like a long tail, so that their footprints would be swept away while they walked, hang a pot around the neck so that they don’t make the earth unholy by even accidently spitting on the ground, wear bells so that no one crosses their path & so on. When imagined, the whole visual was hair raising & never heard, seen or imagined before in the history.
SJ) I want to show today’s generation who were Shudra as they even don’t know about these people. I also wanted to show their condition, the rules made for them etc. I want to bring awareness about Shudras.
GG) But this kind of film in today’s time…
SJ) Cinema must not be like a drug that gives you a momentary kick & then fades away. If used well, it could be a powerful tool for bringing a revolution. I have an inspiration from some of the greatest works of the likes of Achhoot Kanya, Bandini, Neecha Nagar, Saransh, Ardhsatya, Bandit Queen etc & my film covers all aspects of a society divided by color, caste & creed, rampant with corruption & atrocity.
GG) Where did you shoot the film?
SJ) At Lucknow in 40 days schedule.
GG) How did you cast the actors for playing Shudras?
SJ) We took audition in the costume which was just a single cloth. It was meant to make the actor comfortable during the shoot. Second was skin color, features according to characters. Once the shoot started I told all the actors playing role of Shudra to be in their costume and roam around to make them more comfortable. They were not allowed to bath for 15 days.
GG) Why did you cast all the newcomers?
SJ) See famous artists come with the baggage of image. Then audience would have come to watch with a particular mind set. That would have killed the message of the film. SHUDRA deals with emotions of a major part of society. I did not want actors to dominate on the subject.
SJ) I did groundwork for five months. I read many books like Manusmruti etc and did a lot of surfing on internet. I also read books written by Dr. Ambedkar, Mayawati etc.
GG) How was response in Goa Film Festival last year?
SJ) We got overwhelming response from the people.