Nobody believed in his dreams. Nobody extended a helping hand and none shared any opportunity. But Bhaurao Karhade was determined to make a film. He convinced his family to sell off some acres of their farmland to raise funds for his debut feature film. Khwada won Special Jury Mention and Best Audiography in the recently announced 62nd National Film Awards. The Marathi film has also won Best Costumes and Best Make-up awards and has been nominated in five more categories of the Maharashtra State Film Awards.
A farmer-turned-filmmaker, Bhaurao Karhade has a very interesting story of himself that he shared with RangMarathi.
Congratulations to you and Mahavir Sabbanwar (sound recordist) for the National Awards.
Thank you so much!
What is Khwada all about?
Khwada has different meanings at different times and situations. But basically, the film is based on the nomads of Dhangar and other communities, who keep migrating from one place to other throughout their lives.
Was it your first script?
No. I had two other scripts in hand and was looking for producers. It was during 2009 when I was doing Mass Comm from Pune University. One day I was at Pune railway station when a train from Aurangabad arrived at the platform. Hundreds of people carrying loads of clothes, utensils and other such things got off from the train. I became very curious to know about them.
When I enquired, I learnt they had either faced severe droughts or their lands had been declared barren and acquired by the government in the name of development projects. This had posed severe challenge to their survival. So they migrated to cities and now some would sell vegetables, some would work in shops and others would find out their ways of survival. There were hundreds of families, including women and small children. I was moved by the scene.
I thought the story of these nomads needs to be told to the world because nobody migrates just for fun. They have their own problems and they migrate for survival. Then I started studying them and found that they keep travelling on daily basis from one place to other. They have very different emotions. They don’t care for permanent shelter. Sometimes they have to cook in heavy rains also but they don’t complain of it. One interesting thing that I discovered about them is that they are always happy in all these circumstances.
How do they remain happy in such adverse conditions also?
What will they do otherwise? They have no option. They can’t stay at one place for longer. They have no formal education and no skills. They keep migrating in search of a new way of survival.
Tell us something about your personal life?
I’m the son of a farmer from a small hamlet named Hingni in Shrigonda taluka in Ahmednagar district. I had my primary education in the village. That time only one family had television in the village, and they used to keep the TV set in the open on holidays so that all could enjoy.
The first film that I saw was Maine Pyaar Kiya. It was on a Diwali afternoon. I couldn’t understand Hindi at that time but I was blown away by the idea called a film. I fell in love with cinema from that very day itself.
From Standard V onwards, I studied at Shirur, where I spotted a mini-theatre that showed Hindi movies. I regularly bunked classes to watch movies of Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Ajay Devgn. In the school library, I also got opportunity to read a lot quality fiction by well-known authors. That time I used to think that these film stars make these films. But when I was studying in Standard XI, I learnt from newspapers and magazines that it is the director, who makes a film. I decided to be a director.
I’m the first in our family to have studied beyond Standard III. But I had no interest in studying further. I wanted to make films but I couldn’t tell this to my family members. So I left college after 12th and joined family in farm activities, which never yield profit.
Once I had brought onions to sell in Pune, and while wandering in the city, I saw FTII. There I was told that graduation is needed to take admission to any course. I rushed to my village and enrolled with Yashwantrao Chavan Open University to complete my graduation. Usually, people drop out of schools and colleges to pursue their career in films. I had to pursue education to get into the FTII. I made many efforts but never succeeded in joining FTII, probably because I was very weak in English.
I had even decided to do post-graduation in law as that would have improved my proficiency in English language. But then I learnt that the Pune University was teaching filmmaking in Mass Comm course. I joined the course and met Samar Nakhate sir as a faculty. This turn of events changed many things for me. Nakhate sir helped me a lot. There I got to watch national and international masterpieces made by great filmmakers.
But I still have a wish to study in the FTII.
Did you assist any director?
I really wanted to, but no filmmaker allowed me to assist him. Probably because I was not very impressive in talking, dressing, etc. I tried for a few months and later decided not to assist anybody. Then I made two short films, which won awards at various places, and I realized my capabilities of working in this field.
What was the reason that you were so confident?
I was confident because it was my inner voice. And I’m very proud to have born in a farmer’s family. A farmer is always hopeful despite nothing much happening in his life. He is always a hardworking and highly optimistic person around. Every time he sows something, it goes in vain, and he is ready to do it again in the coming season. A farmer rarely gives up. I got these qualities from my birth itself.
I talked to family and tried to convince them that I can be successful in films only. Thankfully, it worked.
Two National Awards for the debut film. Will it make any difference?
Yes of course. The struggle will be minimized in the future projects.
What about film’s release?
I’m planning to release Khwada by May end. I wish to have a known distributor so that the film reaches maximum audience. I’m in talks with a few respected names in the industry in this regard. I’ve received enquiries about the film’s rights from other states also.
I’m working on two scripts. The next film is likely to go on floor in September-October.