Bardroy Barretto, 42, an ad filmmaker who lives in Sewri, has just returned from Goa, where he has finished a two months of shooting for his directorial debut Nachoeya Kumpasar, a Konkani film whose means 'dance to the beat'. The film is set in Mumbai between 1965 and 1974, the city's jazz age.
Excerpts from a phone conversation:
What made you choose Konkani music as a subject for your film?
I spent 17 years of my life in Goa before I moved to Mumbai to work as a film editor. I have fond childhood memories of listening to Konkani music by musicians such as Chris Perry and Frank Fernand on the radio during afternoon siestas. Later, when I came to Mumbai, I stayed with my aunt in Dhobi Talao. Impromptu jam sessions were routine there.
I felt that, if I had to make a film, it had to be in my language and on this subculture.
What is the story of the film?
The film is a story based on rumours, about a successful trumpet player, a married man, and a talented young crooner, a teenage girl. It follows their pairing as a successful duo as well as their scandalous affair.
What kind of research did you put into this film? How long did that take?
I started nearly nine years ago. I managed to track down and speak to Anthony Gonsalves (a music composer and arranger) several times before he passed away in January last year. Over a period of seven to eight years, I tracked down nearly 60 musicians. Last year, I even travelled to Cuba for a recce, since it resembles what Goa looked like in the 1960s.
How do you plan to release or distribute the film?
We plan to distribute it the way tiatre (Konkani musical dramas) is done - by approaching local councils and Goan cultural organisations around the world to set up ticketed shows. Over time, we will take the film, which should be complete by April, to festivals all over the world. In time, we'll look for a theatrical release, but that could be three to four years from now.