Need more films on social problems: Nagraj Manjule

Director says he has not faced any hardships because he was a Dalit.

Nagraj Manjule at IFFK.

Filmmaker Nagraj Manjule says there is a need to make more films on social issues and issues faced by the marginalised sections, Dalits and women. The present dearth of films on them is mainly due to the low representation of these sections in the industry.

In a chat with Showtime,  Manjule, who is a member of the jury of the International Film Festival of Kerala, said that he didn’t face any difficulties in the film industry for being a member from the Dalit community, but only faced the normal hardships that any normal filmmaker would face in the making of his film.

“I do not subscribe to offering any incentives or reservations to Dalits for filmmaking as it would only increase the number of filmmakers. Instead, the focus should be on providing education, which can overcome the hurdles of being marginalised,” says the Marathi filmmaker, who has been highlighting Dalit issues in his films by going through the hardships he had faced in life.

“Attempting films on social issues of religion and nation would hurt some or other sections. Hence, artistes do not freely express. But social issues need to be narrated in a different manner. If the intention is good, people would accept it,” he says.

Talking about his first venture ‘Pistulya’, a national award-winning short film narrating hardships faced by a Dalit boy for education, Manjule says that he entered the film industry by accident.  “After my post graduation, I joined a mass communication course. As part of the project, the short film ‘Pistulya’ was made. Fortunately, it won two national awards. That thrilled and inspired me to do more films on issues that the mainstream film industry often ignore,” he says. Manjule’s debut feature film ‘Fandry’ narrates hardships faced by the marginalised in an upper caste-dominated village and his second film ‘Sairat’ that deals with discrimination and honour killing was premiered in 66th Berlin International Film Festival.

Manjule is considering his Bollywood directorial debut with Amitabh Bachchan a learning experience. ‘Jhund’, which is a sports drama, is in the post-production stage.

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