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‘Kaajro’, Goa’s first uncut film

Creative director and producer, Rajesh Pednekar of the Konkani uncut film ‘Kaajro’, which will premiere today, November 27, is hoping that, besides Goans, cine lovers will come to watch the film and support the Goan film industry which is churning out good quality films

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‘Kaajro’ is a story of Tilgya, who belongs to caste considered as untouchable. While his village is celebrating the annual Dusshera, marking the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana ie good over bad, his ailing wife dies while the celebration is on. Tilgya is debarred from participating in the festival procession and is forced to leave the village with his wife’s dead body.

Pednekar is a known face in the film fraternity. Having been a theatre artiste who has acted in several films, with ‘Kaajro’ he went on to produce the film and become its creative director alongside Nitin Bhaskar.

Talking to NT BUZZ about his organic growth and elevation he says: “I have always wanted to become a producer and have always been acting. There was a good story that my friend told me about, but there was no song in it. I was impressed but I did not tell him that I wanted to produce it,” informs Rajesh Pednekar, who sensed that because of the emotional connect he had with the director and the risk involved in filmmaking, he would be deterred from producing it. This is why Pednekar did not inform the director until the end who the producer was.

‘Kaajro’ is Goa’s first uncut film which has a running time of 113 minutes. The film has no songs in it, and Pednekar tells us that it was a creative decision, “as we wanted to tell the story the way we feel about it. We approached it differently, with an open mind,” he says adding that they were honest about their budget and intent, which is why they managed to rope in the best from the film industry like sound designer, Biswdeep Chatterjee.

He tells us that being a creative director he was able to do a lot than just finance the film. “So from selecting the cast, locations, direction, music, I got myself involved in every aspect, and being honest with what we were doing was the most important factor,” he says.

Pednekar believes that IFFI (International Film Festival of India) has led to a lot of Goan films being made. “We were inspired through IFFI, but unfortunately the limitation we face is getting an audience as there is no big budget for marketing of films, which is allocated now,” he says before adding that a film is made so that it reaches people. And in Goa it is only possible to screen such films in a single screen theatre and not at a multiplex, as the money spent isn’t recovered.

With four of his films, namely ‘Digant’, ‘Glory’, ‘K Sera Sera’ and ‘Kaajro’ being screened at this year’s festival, he says that while IFFI gives Goans meaning to do films, the Film Finance Scheme for making films has to be regularised. “Now we get the money after five to six years. If it is regularised there will be a follow up and money will be rolled back into the film industry in Goa that is taking off, and more films will be produced,” he comments.

He isn’t too happy about the three sections of Goan films included at IFFI, two being unofficial, by ESG (Entertainment Society of Goa) which is being done to appease a few people from the fraternity. He voices out, “Our government takes so much pain to organise IFFI, and hence a Goan section should be made part of IFFI through the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF). It’s a better platform and should have included premiering films in that section, as the official section has several good films left out.” 

Pednekar tells us that he has already starting work on a non-commercial Konkani film script, while also working on a documentary based on an international theme which is in the final stages. ‘Kaajro’ will be screened today at 3:45 p.m. Inox Screen IV, and Pednekar hopes it will be loved by the audience at IFFI just as it was appreciated at MAMI.

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