New Delhi: It was a combination of satire and hard hitting social based issues at the second day of Jagran Film Festival in the capital. On one hand, commercial satire like ‘Phas Gaye Re Obama’ tickled the humour craving cells of the audience and on the other documentary on farmer suicide titled Harvest of Grief pricked the tear buds of those attending the three-day long festival.

The day started with the screening of journalist turned film-maker Subhash Kapoor’s satire on recession ‘Phas Gaye Re Obama’.  Speaking on the sidelines of the festival here on Saturday the director revealed that he too has been a victim of recession. “My first film Salaam India, I made in 2007, had very few takers. With the country reeling under recession, I too had to face major disappointments despite having good scripts in my hand. It was then that the idea to make a film on recession struck me. But I did not want to make a film with a hard hitting statement and preaching down philosophy. Satire was the right medium for me to convey the message across. The film, Phas Gaye Re Obama, shows how recession even affects the underworld. It is a sad subject but presented in a witty way,” the director elaborated.

This was followed by the careening of other films like Queens! Destiny of Dance directed by David Atkins, Harvest of Grief directed by Anwar Jamal, Village of Widows made by Ashok Pandit and The United Kartik Kishnan Project by Srinivas Sunderrajan.

This was the second screening of the film Village of Widows, a documentary on a village in Kashmir where only widows and their children reside. Thanking Jagran Film Festival for giving him the opportunity, director Ashok Pandit said, “My film was screened at the Goa Film Festival and this is the second time that it has been put up for the audience. I really thank Jagran for this. The topic of my film is such that I had to face many difficulties during the making. Apart from all the outward obstacles, the greatest problem was convincing the widows of the village who were reluctant due to a number of reasons. My film has not got the required exposure.  I am a victim of selective activism in India, where even film making is being politicized.”

He added, “I want to set an example through this film and make people aware that there exists such a village in India. Politicians have put a mask on the face of our country showing that India is shining whereas the truth is something else. The real India is lost somewhere behind this veil. But if I continue getting platforms like this offered by Jagran I will make another film on these widows and next time there will be smile on their faces.”

Another documentary film based on social issue was Harvest of Grief. This film showcasing farmers’ suicide in a region in Punjab is directed by Anwar Jamal. Lamenting over the handicapped condition of such films, Jamal said, “This kind of films hardly reach the audience due to which the subjects shown in them fail to meet the purpose. Here I would support piracy, because that is the only way that such hard hitting films, which due to various political reasons fail to reach the audience, can be made public. More and more youths will become aware of the social problems in our country.”

Farhat Jabeen/Deblina Roy