Director Ashwini Chaudhary’s ‘Laado’ in 2000 was perhaps the only Haryanvi film to win accolades till that time. He was awarded the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director that year. But it took the Haryanvi film industry almost 15 years to produce “Pagdi”, which won the national award in 2015. And now in 2016, with ‘Satrangi’ also bagging the national award, Haryanvi film industry sees a hope of revival, even when the industry has a few films to offer every year.
However, directors say they’re worried about the lack of takers for Haryanvi cinema. “This is a new beginning for the Haryanvi cinema. Movies have always been made in Haryanvi, but most of them were ‘C’ grade showing vulgar content. I don’t think people in Haryana accept such kind of cinema. But now, educated people are taking up good scripts and I am sure this will revive the Haryanvi film industry,” director and producer of the national award-winning film ‘Satrangi’, Sandeep Sharma, told Hindustan Times over phone from Mumbai. “My film is all about family values, moral duties and women empowerment,” he added.
Earlier scheduled to be released on April 22, ‘Satrangi’ will now hit the screen in August as the cast could not promote the movie in the state following violence during the Jat quota stir. On being asked if he would like to make a movie on reservation or the violence in Haryana, Sharma said he would rather stick to his agenda of promoting family values in the state. “Youngsters are deviating from their values and are disrespecting their parents. I would like to make more movies on this subject to educate them,” Sharma said, adding that the biggest challenge for Haryanvi filmmakers is lack of audience.
Though Sharma was optimistic, ‘Laado’ director Chaudhary sounded dejected and said he would never make a Haryanvi movie. People are not interested in watching Haryanvi movies, he said, blaming the successive governments for not taking any initiative to promote the local cinema in the state. “I did my bit by making ‘Laado’. I don’t want to make more Haryanvi films,” said Chaudhary, who also directed Bollywood movies such as ‘Dhoop’ and ‘Jodi Breakers’.
“Only Rohtak, Jhajjar and Sonepat districts have Haryanvi-speaking population, while Karnal and Ambala districts have Punjabi speaking-population and are not interested in Haryanvi cinema,” Chaudhary said. He said Haryanvi language has no script and therefore it has no literature.
However, vice-chancellor of the State University of Performing and Visual Arts, Rohtak, Ashwani Sabharwal said: “The future of Haryanvi cinema looks extremely bright.” The university houses the State Institute of Film and Television, a first institute dedicated for filmmaking in North India. “In their final year of training, students of filmmaking course are asked to shoot movies in Haryana. Many students of the institute have made films in Haryanvi dialect and we hope they will help revive the Haryanvi cinema,” Sabharwal added.