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A man from Aviation Industry Ujjwal Thengdi turned a film maker with Marathi film VAZIR. The film earned him 6 Maharashtra State Awards and 3 Filmfare Awards. His next hard hitting film IN THE NAME OF TAI will release on 12th October. Ujjwal has handled 15 departments of the film. GLAMGOLD met the multifaceted and brilliant film maker to know more about his latest venture.
—Vipul K. Shah
GG) Where were you so many years?
UT) I was busy with my plays in England. I also made a pilot episode of TV serial SANDHYA starring Ayesha Jhulka, Deepak Tijori and Govind Namdeo. I made documentary on Akku Yadav who had molested about 22 women and killed 4 eventually. He was killed by victim’s mothers outside Nagpur High Court. The documentary was screened at ‘River To River’ festival.
UT) The film is female oriented plot. It is about ‘Tai’, an educated woman of a village. She chooses a valiant but a perilous avenue. She unfortunately suffers sexually (Not rape) as well as psychologically in her personal life, yet altruistically battles for a common cause of protecting acres of land owned by the village farmers and deprived poverty stricken village community, from the clutches of the corridor of power, builders and politicians.
GG) Is it a true story?
UT) The film is true story of Navleen Kumar, a social from Thane district near Mumbai who was murdered in the most gruesome manner way back on 19th June 2002 for crusading against local politicians, builders and land mafia. Dr. Nishigandha Wad plays the protagonist Tai which means elder sister.
GG) Why did you decide to make film on Navleen Kumar?
UT) I am feeling anger, emotion in my soul. So I make this film. I am trying to bring this true sad incidence in the form of film so that people come to know about this tragedy.
UT) No that is not right. Jessica’s murder was an accident which later on was attempted to hide because of high political pressure. High profile politicians were involved in that case. Here in Navleen’s case it is a planned murder.
GG) So what do you expect?
UT) I wish sacrifice of Navleen should not go unnoticed and media should play important role exposing her murderers. If media can bring justice for Jessica then why not for Navleen…
GG) Who are the actors in the film?
UT) Apart from Dr. Nishigandha Wad, there are Mahesh Thakur, Asrani, Dr. Vilas Ujwane, German actress Suzzane Burnert and myself.
GG) What is your role in the film?
UT) I am playing Subodh Singh, a conniving politician who becomes a constant thorn for Tai.
GG) Is it inspired by real person?
UT) No. Today any optician I see, I feel I am playing him.
GG) Don’t you think the film create controversy?
UT) My film is not made to create controversy but to show that she has not received justice till today. I want to say system please look after everybody to the grass root level.
UT) The film has been shot at Palghar, Filmcity and Madh Island in 32 days.
GG) After VAZIR again a serious issue based film…
UT) I do not make films for awards. I am not in the race.
GG) You were attacked after the announcement of this film…
UT) Yes. First I received threat calls ultimately resulting in an attack on me at Santacruz, a suburb in Mumbai. Fortunately I was survived with few minor injuries.
UT) Not at all. I use to feel choked. I will enjoy, will be happy when I will make monument of Navleen Kumar.
GG) What do you want to tell through IN THE NAME OF TAI?
UT) I just think from my soul how we will change all this? What we will give to next generations? I humbly request all the producers to keep aside all the romance and fantasies. Please show the truth, the reality to today’s generation.
GG) What next?
UT) I am working on a film titled MY NAME IS NOT GANDHI. I am also making a Konkani film in which Hema Sardesai will give the music.