A little boy throws a tantrum for mangoes and gets ticked off by his mother. He is mollified by his grandmother who tells him the story of golden mangoes reaped by a villager.
Midway through the story, the boy slips into a dream in which he touches the golden mango and turns it into an ordinary one.
Sonyacha Aamba, the 10-minute short film, ends with the boy happily tucking into the juicy fruit, albeit in a dream. A reversal of King Midas’ tale, the script is born of the film-maker’s anguish about children who cannot afford even ordinary fruit at a time when gold is worshipped.
“In Pune, mangoes are sold at Rs. 700 per dozen, while biscuits and chocolates are very cheap. Back at my home town, mangoes would be available dime a dozen. We never had to buy custard apples,” says K. Govinda Raju, the young filmmaker.
Incidentally, Mr. Raju is from Mancherial town of Adilabad district, pursuing a course in film direction at Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India, after completing BFA (Applied Arts) from then JNTU College of Fine Arts.
“I was always interested in films. I used to jump over the school’s compound wall to watch movies and get failing grades. Being featured in the festival here is like a dream come true,” he says.
International Children’s Film Festival of India. Choosing Marathi as the medium instead of Telugu is only due to logistical reasons, Mr. Raju clarifies.
“The film is part of my course at FTII, and getting the crew would be easier if it is in Marathi. Language is no barrier, as my film is easily understood even by non-Marathi-speaking viewers.”
Shot traditionally on film rolls according to the course requirement, the movie cost about Rs. 15 lakh, totally borne by the institute.