Goa: In 1997, his Konkani film ‘Dekhni Durai’ won the Best Film and Best Director Award at the Goa State Film Festival. In 2016, Rajeev Shinde was back with ‘K Sera Sera’ which was selected amongst 230 films from all over India at Indian Panorama, 47th International Film Festival of India and which went on to win the National award this year. TNV brings to you his journey.
Q. You are from the theatre background. How did you get into films?
– I am basically a theatre person and passionate about theatre. But films were an extension of my studies from Art College. Art Direction, Visual Communication, Communication Design, all these subjects had a very strong connect with films. This made me study film making in depth. I have tried to learn almost about every department of film making. Besides, film is also an extension of theatre. My script writing has immensely helped me in writing stories and screenplays for films. After my graduation I have worked as an art director for the Hindi film industry for some time to learn about film process and to get hands on experience of this art. I have also designed sets for TV serials. Films did not happen today. I did ‘Dekkhni Durai’ written by Shri. Pundalik Naik way back in nineties. This film won Goa state awards for Best film, Best Director, Best Actor and Actress, and Best Female Singer. Many will not know but in Goa College of Art, where I teach, we do more than 30 films a year, short films , social films, animations. From concepts, story boards to the final film. So one can say films happen almost ‘every day’ for me.
Q. Tell us about K Sera Sera, your movie. How did the idea develop?
– I am a story teller. I keep on writing stories on the subjects which inspire me or at times disturb me as a human being. Some subjects make me think; make me emotional, I put them on paper as a story, which can be later converted into a play or a film. K Sera Sera was a part of this process. It all happened on a crowded railway station, where thousands of people are around you, living in their own world, happy, sad, depressed. As a visual communication designer, playwright and a director, I always had a fascination to observe and decipher the things happening around. The very thought of every individual, known and/or unknown going through varied circumstances, perceptions and emotions, makes me wonder about the numerous stories taking shape around us at every point of time. ‘K Sera Sera’ is just one of those stories which look at parallel and transverse situations from the lives of two individuals.
Q. Any other projects you have been working on now?
– At the moment I am working on three projects. A play which I had promised my friend Harshad Tondwalkar, ‘Kala Vaibhav’. Then there is a Gujarati film, based on my play “Thodassa Logic Thodassa Magic”. Renowned actor Tikku Talsania who also acted in the Gujarati version of my play will be in the lead role. The third project is a film which is very close to my heart as it will be an experiment and a challenge to shoot.
Q. Do you think Konkani movies have a good future?
– The last few years have been very productive for Konkani movies. There have been some good movies produced. There is tremendous improvement on the technical aspects of the film making. A film like ‘Nachom-ia Kumpasar’ has proved that a good subject, good performances and the technical finesse can bring audiences to the theatre. If film makers maintain the quality of films and the Goan audience lends its support, Konkani movies have a good future.
Q. Do you see Goa developing as a film industry? What more can be done? What has Goa derived from IFFI?
– IFFI did bring a kind of awareness amongst people and generated interest in film culture. It was the beginning of IFFI which was responsible to bring a thought in our minds that Goa can be a shooting destination and can develop itself into a provider for film related services. Goa has natural beauty and locations required for film shoots but along with that, services like studios, colour labs, VFX Studios, sound labs, with world class facilities can be created in Goa. I remember a meeting held during the first IFFI. Everyone in that meeting had liked the idea of making Goa a hub for film related services. A film producer from any part of the world should be able to come to Goa with his project, and get his film ready from script to screen. This would bring lots of jobs for Goan artists and technicians. It will also boost tourism, hotel Industry and many other allied services.
Q. What are your views on the State government’s scheme for film financing?
– The film makers need financial support. Goa being a small state, the audience base is smaller and it becomes very difficult to recover the cost of the film just by theatre releases. The film finance scheme is really good for the Goan film makers. It will help a film maker to sustain his interest and keep on making films. What is really needed and expected is the consistency in the scheme.