After using Facebook to raise funds for I Am, Onir is now tapping the social networking site for crowd sourcing activities for the next movie that Sanjay Suri and he are co-producing. Chauranga will be Bikas Mishra’s directorial debut. Onir had read his script at the Locarno Scriptwriting Workshop, and decided this film needed to be made.
Chauranga, a reference to the four castes, has been inspired by a real life incident reported in the papers in 2008 about a 14-year-old Dalit boy from a small village in Jharkhand who falls in love with an upper caste girl. Since he was one of the few educated boys in the village, he writes her a love letter. It falls in the hands of her parents and he’s tied up, and thrown on the railway tracks to die.
“It’s about Dalit oppression in India Shining and how education is still frowned upon because it empowers the lower castes and disrupts the social hierarchy,” says Onir who’s in talks with German film companies for a co-production.
He hopes to flag off the film in January and has started a contest on Facebook to identify a publicity designer, who’ll be voted by a three-tier jury, consisting of the ‘audience’ and their rating system, writer-director and a design expert, to come up with the film’s first poster: “We’ve already got 60 entries from UK and Spain and places like Malda. It’s a great opportunity for talents from small towns to showcase their work and get a break.”
Onir is also scouting for a music director on the site for a background score that will reflect the region’s flavour and colour.
“Later, we’ll use FB to audition actors. Almost 70-80 per cent of the cast will be new faces, including the lead pair, and we’re looking for a cast that looks convincingly real.”