PANAJI: In what could be a marked departure from the norm, IFFI 53 delegates got a unique opportunity to get inspired by the screening of emotion, rather than a film. Don't believe us?
Yes, you have to believe us, going by the words of TJ Gnanavel, the director of one of the boldest takes on the flaws in law enforcement and the justice system. 'Jai Bhim' is not just a word, it is an emotion; this is what the Director has to say about the Tamil movie, which is sure to have given goosebumps and transformed the lives of international and domestic delegates alike, to speak up and stand up for what is right, come what may.
Gnanavel, while interacting with the media and festival delegates at one of the 'Table Talks' sessions being organised by PIB on the side-lines of the festival shared the thought behind choosing the title ' Jai Bhim' for the movie.
"For me, the word Jai Bhim is synonymous with the word oppressed and marginalised people for whom Dr BR Ambedkar always stood for."
He expressed his immense joy over the movie's unimaginable reception from all quarters, and Gnanavel said the film connected with all because it dealt with a universal subject.
"Post Jai Bhim, I heard hundreds of such stories on caste discrimination, the flaws in law enforcement and justice system," he said and added that through his movie he is trying to portray that the Constitution is a real weapon in fighting against injustice.
'Jai Bhim' the raw and real take on a series of burning issues, portrays the life and struggles of tribal couple Rajakannu and Sengeni who leads a life based on the whims and fancies of upper caste people by doing menial jobs for them.
The movie shifts to a gritty filmmaking style when Rajakannu gets arrested for a crime he hasn't committed.
From then on the movie with its terrific moments of defiance, powerfully captures the abuse and humiliation meted out to the underprivileged by those in power.
Describing how cinema can play a catalyst in social change, Gnanavel said though there is a saviour in the film who fights for the oppressed, his film tries to give a message based on a thought voiced by the great scholar BR Ambedkar that education is the only tool that could empower people.
"In real life, there are no heroes. One has to be their own hero by empowering themselves through education. My movie will achieve its real goal only when all the oppressed are empowered."
The film is based on a real-life incident involving Justice K Chandru, from his days as a lawyer and celebrated actor Suriya plays this role.
Stating how content is the real hero in any film, Gnanavel said if there is a soul in the content, there would be people to make the movie the way a creator wishes and later everything else will fall into its rightful place.
Throwing light on Director Gnanavel being the guiding force behind the formation of NGO Agaram Foundation by actor Suriya, Co-producer of the movie Rajasekar K said Gnanavel who began his career as journalist and writer, had been associated with the cause of the downtrodden for years.
"Suriya was approached for producing the movie, but once the actor heard the story, to our great surprise he said he wants to act in the movie," he told.
Sharing the earnest efforts the cast including the people from the Irula tribe took for the movie, Rajasekar said actors Manikandan and Lijomol Jose who plays Rajakannu and Sengeni respectively, stayed with the tribal community for 45 days to get a first-hand experience.
To the immense joy of the Jai Bhim fan base, Rajasekar said the sequels of the Jai Bhim will happen for sure.
"They are in the pipeline since the discussions have already started," he added.
Actor Lijomol Jose, who is predominantly known for movies in Malayalam, said that the real challenge was to play a Tamil-speaking Irula character. "Our stay with the tribal community was the key to developing my craft," the actor told.
Actor Manikandan who was also in attendance at the interaction said the film happened to him quite unexpectedly.
Sharing how the movie has helped him to transform himself and helped him with his inner growth, the actor said, "I met and lived with the people who think that they have everything in the world, though they possess nothing materialistic as we do." Jai Bhim had its screening under the Indian Panorama Feature Films section at IFFI 53.