The 2016 National Award-winning film, Ringan, is a story of hope and courage. And it’s set for its first screening in Mumbai
A debt-ridden farmer and his young son decide to visit Pandharpur, home to Vithal, Maharashtra’s beloved deity. The father is suicidal, like numerous farmers who have lost their lives to drought, exploitative landowners, and a heap of loans. The son is on a quest to find his mother. Throughout the story, the duo grapples with the daily struggles of a low-income family, and with emotional baggage.
Such is the premise of Ringan, a 2015 Marathi film by debutant writer-director Makarand Mane (31), set for its first, city-based screening this weekend. Set against the bleak background of farmer suicides in Maharashtra, Ringan is yet a story of courage. But, most importantly, it sheds light on the tender aspects of spirituality.
“I grew up in Pandharpur and often saw distraught farmers visit, seeking help from the almighty. When they left, they looked relieved, like Vithal had personally volunteered to help them through their rough patch. The simplicity of their faith was awe-inspiring. That’s why I wrote my first film about it,” says Mane.
Ringan was shot entirely on location, in Pandharpur, a perpetually crowded city, courtesy the influx of devotees. Was there any interference during production? “We were sneaky about it. One film unit pretended to shoot a film to attract the crowds, while a different team, including myself, shot the actual footage on now-deserted roads,” says Mane.
His efforts paid off. Ringan was screed at Cannes Short Film Corner earlier this year, and also won the National Award for the Best Marathi Film in March. But for Mane, the appreciation that mattered the most was the comment made by Marathi playwright Satish Alekar. “He is my role model, and it was humbling when he said the movie was beyond my age,” says Mane.
Ringan will be screened on August 13, at 5.30pm.
At Auditorium, Godrej ONE, Vikhroli (East)
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