An indigenous Nagpuri film, ‘Phulmania’ creating ripples in the 72nd International Cannes film festival is now gearing up to hit the theatres in the last week of September this year. Directed by Lal Vijay Shahdeo, a theatre actor turned director and a native of Lohardaga, Jharkhand – ‘Phulmania’ brims with originality and tries to capture the native culture of Jharkhand with its storyline and folk songs.
The movie is based on true incidents with witch hunting as its central theme, a social evil still prevalent in the state. With the aim to educate and spread awareness, the film also deals with the issues of gender equality and infertility narrated from a woman’s perspective. It tries to connect to its audience at an emotional level. Contrary to movies based on social cause, Phulmania is infused with entertainment and can be classified as a commercial drama as claimed by the director. “It is a new age film breaking the stereotype around Nagpuri films and strives to connect to a large audience,” said Lal Vijay Shahdeo.
The production unit has confirmed its release in both Hindi and Nagpuri version and is determined to cover all the major cities of the country with its release. “It has got a fabulous response at the film festival and is a ground breaking step towards promotion of indigenous films at the international level,” said the director who represented two of his films at Cannes this year – ‘Lohardaga’ and ‘Phulmania’.
The film, with a running time of one hour twenty minutes, is shot in Ranchi and its outskirts and has a swift transition from the rural to urban set-up.
The character of the protagonist is played by Komal Singh, from Ranchi and the film also stars Hansraj Jagtap, a National award winner from Maharashtra. Ravi Bhatia, Rina Sahay, Sunny Sharma, Monica Mundu are some other artists in the film.
The music is directed by Nandlal Nayak and carries the essence of folk music of Chotanagpur. One of the songs, catching attention is done by Padma Shri recipient Mukund Nayak.
With a phenomenal response at the festival, Phulmania has received a major demand from China and Indonesia. The production is in negotiation with the Chinese for selling the rights. “The reaction at the global level is overwhelming. However, the main challenge is to penetrate the Indian market and get acceptance, being a regional film,” said Shahdeo seeming concerned over the the support regional films get by the audience as well as theatres and multiplexes.
He plans to premiere the film for rural masses using mobile theatres in areas where theatres are inaccessible.