A cartoon is powerful like a picture and leaves lasting impression on one's mind. Combining wit and sarcasm, it generally reflects the mood of the people and, sometimes, the entire nation. The film ‘Gangaputrulu' is based on the sensitive issue of allotment of land to special economic zones.
A cartoon competition by the producers titled ‘Nature Vs Greed' to bring the theme into focus opened at VUDA Children's Theatre on Tuesday.
The bulldozer, the symbol of aggression, raising the profit lines on the graph, trees cut off – making existence precarious, the corporate big fish swallowing the small fish that is fishermen, the dollar encroaching upon the sea, water war caught with the tap turning into a pistol, fish waiting for rain, and the earth ballooning with pollution are some of the thought-provoking cartoons. Politicians obviously are at the receiving end. Some of the participants are schoolchildren. Films on such issues are hard to come by. ‘Gangaputrulu', with the predicament of fishermen affected by SEZs in Visakhapatnam as the central theme, is shot in and around the city with several artistes from the city. The film by the Andhra Pradesh government's Golden Nandi award-winner K. Sunil Kumar Reddy was released last week and won critical acclaim. Two months before the release of the film, the producers had invited entries for the competition and simultaneously announced it on the internet on sites meant for cartoons. “The response has been overwhelming. Out of 600 entries that have been received, 200 are from 26 foreign countries,” said Kurra Vijay Kumar, executive producer of ‘Gangaputrulu'.
Among the countries that participated were China, Brazil, Canada, Spain, Egypt, Nigeria, Singapore, and Malaysia. Significantly, China contributed 20 per cent of them. A total of 250 entries selected were on display.
“A cartoon says several things pointedly and the entries highlight the environmental damage caused by SEZs and the plight of fishermen. It reflects the objective of the film, which all those who value nature must see,” said Head of the Department of Theatre Arts of Andhra University P. Bobby Vardhan, who inaugurated the cartoon exhibition. The exhibition is open on Wednesday too from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.