Shedding light on GSB Konkani culture

Shedding light on GSB Konkani culture

Stills from Konkani movie Ujwadu

When many speak about the need to keep Konkani culture alive, Srinivas Rao S popularly known as Kasragod Chinna has proved this in his actions by directing the Konkani film ‘Ujwaadu’ (Light). The film in pure Gowd Saraswath Brahmin (GSB) Konkani is the third film in this dialect to hit the screens after a gap of 35 years.

“Konkani is my mother tongue and being an actor and filmmaker I felt an urge to make a Konkani film,” says Chinna to City Herald.

The movie portrays Konkani culture in several aspects. The opening song of the movie shows 18 Kuladaivas of the Konkani communities. Many of the GSB’s originally hail from Goa and many of the temples are situated there. “I have visited all the temples and filmed the Kuladaivas in a single day,” says Chinna and adds that more than 95 artistes have acted in his film making it more unique.

“I have upheld moral values in my film. The film got a ‘U’ certificate without even a single scene being censored,” he says.

Speaking about the title ‘Ujwaadu, Light of the future’, he says that Ujwaadu happens to be the name of an old age home in the movie. I wanted to show the importance of the aged in the community as they are the ones who guide the younger generations. They are the real light of the future, he says.

The film was shot in 18 days and the entire production process was completed in 100 days. The film was mostly shot in Karkala and places around. “I had only Rs 45 lakh as the movie’s budget but I have never compromised on quality. The movie was shot in superior 35 mm mode on celluloid, says Chinna.

“Though the schedule of the movie shooting was tight, I felt like I was with family. All the actors were very supportive and not one has taken remuneration from me for the movie,” he says.  Speaking about something that touched him in the filming process, Chinna says that the film protagonist Neethu’s father expired the day she came to shoot for the movie. “Our entire crew was shocked and we decided to postpone the shooting. But Neethu knew that we had a limited budget and she immediately returned to the shooting after she attended the final rites. This is something that touched us all,” he says.

Speaking to City Herald, Neethu says that Konkani is her mother tongue and this added as an advantage. “I play the role of Shanteri an orphan girl who falls in love with her teacher Ganapathy master. Shanteri is very traditional and always takes advice from her elders,” she says.

“I lost my father while I was shooting for the film. But the entire crew looked after me like family. They gave me moral support. I have great respect for Chinna sir and that is one reason I returned to the shooting as I knew he had a very tight budget,” she says.

Ujwaadu male lead Shivadwaj said that he was helping Chinna in technical aspects and was shocked when Chinna asked him to play the male lead. Not knowing fluent Konkani was the biggest challenge. Though my voice is dubbed, I had to learn the Konkani dialogues for lip syncing, he says.

The film has four songs composed by Jayanth Kini and Achyuthdasa. “I want my movie to reach every household. Hence, I have given over 25,000 audio CD’s for free. I want each and every Konkani to sing these songs hence, I have included Karaoke tracks in the audio CD. Very soon I am planning to hold a singing competition,” says Chinna.

The movie is produced by Anuradha Padiyar and K J Dhananjay. Gopalakrishna Pai has written the script and dialogues for the movie, says Chinna.  

Speaking on limitations, Chinna says that he feels he could still improvise if he had more time and budget. “I have made the movie for people rather than awards. If people come to watch the film it is my biggest award,” concludes Chinna.  The film is presently being featured at Big Cinemas and will soon hit other theatres.

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