Gajendra Ahire Director:Vasudev Balwant Phadke
Gajendra Ahire, is a prolific writer-director whose films have dealt with realities of the bourgeois. He has directed films like Sarivar Sari, Divasen Divas and Not only Mrs Raut. "My intent every time," he elucidates, "is to refrain from repeating forms. I desire to make different movies with well-scripted characters and story." Inspired by Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anuradha, Gajendra Ahire vacillates easily between Marathi and Hindi cinema. He has to his credits several Marathi plays after which he went on to write for television. He scripted famous Hindi serials like Shrimaan-Shrimati and Gharaunda. However the man detests being distinguished as a Marathi director. He says, "I cater to an universal audience. It's just that my characters speak in Marathi." He also adds that cinema doesn't require a language to sustain itself.
His movie Vasudev Balwant Phadke is in competition with seven other Marathi movies here at PIFF. Based on the life of the revolutionary Vasudev Balwant Phadke, the movie tells the story of his life when imprisoned at Eden and tortured by the British rulers. He just finished shooting for a Hindi movie named Anand Bhuvan which is being produced by Amitabh Bachchan Corp. Ltd. His other film, Saavar re, which stars Mukta Barve, and is his 18 th film will also premiere at PIFF.
Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni Director:Valu
The young director Umesh Kulkarni who is an alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, feels that we have got to cater to today's generation of movie watchers and make films that cater to their sensibilities. He has also assisted veteran director Sumitra Bhave. The movie taking place in a small village has an untamed bull wreaking havoc and a documentary filmmaker's efforts to capture the action on camera. "The movie is about wild things happening spontaneously," says Kulkarni, "The location had a great deal to do with how the film turned out. It dictated the camera handling and the shot direction." The director had already decided to not let the movie pontificate and all the messages are therefore unsaid by the characters and waiting to be interpreted by the viewers. His short film 'Girni' made in 2005 was critically acclaimed and travelled widely to several international film festivals.
Sachin Kundalkar Director:Nirop
A Pune-based writer and director, Kundalkar has also written the script for Nirop. His previous movie Restaurant was received very well in theatres and apparently ran for 26 weeks. "The film has a lot of silent shots. There is measured dialogue and the film talks but it simply doesn't employ a lot of words," says director Sachin Kundalkar. He also adds that the success of Shwaas opened opportunities for other meaningful Marathi movies. "I want to make entertaining, bright and independent movies," informs Kundalkar. Produced by Aparna Dharmadhikari who was also the chief assistant director of the movie, starring in the movie is famous model-turned-actor Sameer Dharmadhikari. Aparna says, "The audience of Pune is very well read and well traveled and we trust this new intelligent audience." In the movie Shekhar, a flute player, decides to visit his ancestral village with wife Jui and a bunch of friends who before migrating to France. The movie is about the events that then transpire.