His first short film Pistulya won over 20 awards, including the National Award. His first Marathi feature film Fandry, produced by well-known banner Navalakha Arts, which earlier produced Dandgi Mula & Shala, is ready to be released shortly. But filmmaker Nagraj Manjule prefers to stay humble and on the ground.
“I come from a very modest and rural background. And therefore my films tell stories of the rural people and their lives,” Nagraj expressed very truthfully while talking to Rang Marathi.
Fandry is about the love and struggle of a teenaged couple and has rural background. “I didn’t have to struggle to find a producer. In fact, I had three of them. One of my common friends had told the story to Anurag Kashyap, who too had expressed desire to produce the film. But Anurag was busing with Gangs of Wasseypur and we couldn’t meet at that time. When I narrated it to Nilesh Navalakha, he immediately locked the script and we started shooting in the next 20 days,” Nagraj informed.
The film’s shooting is complete and the post-production work is also almost done. However, the makers have not announced the cast yet. “It’s the story’s requirement. Actually, faces are not very important, characters are. The story needs to have that appeal,” Nagraj reasoned.
Nagraj is not a film school graduate. He has grown up watching Bollywood movies and idolizing superstar Amitabh Bachchan. As a child, he used to watch two shows every day. “When I made Pistulya, I had no technical knowledge of filmmaking. Our entire team was of first-timers. I did it in my own and simple style. I think you don’t have to know each and every technical detail to make a film. It is the content that drives the vision of every department,” he stated.
Fandry’s producer, Nilesh Navalakha, is currently attending a 10-day workshop at the Rotterdam Film Festival. He will return in February and then the team will decide on the film’s release date.