After making thought-provoking short films and documentaries in English and Hindi over the past 15 years, Ramchandra P.N. has finally made his directorial debut with a Tulu language film, "Suddha" (The Cleansing Rites). The film was screened at the eighth Osian's Cinefan festival in Delhi's Siri Fort Auditorium on Wednesday.
Ramchandra is desperately hunting for a distributor to get his film released. "After making short films like `Out of Tune' and `Voices from Mini Tibet' and documentaries like `Ticketless Travel' and `My Banjara Diary', I felt the need to make a feature film in my mother tongue Tulu. After writing down the script, I went to various producers but nobody was prepared to make a film as the language is spoken in only a few places in Karnataka. So it was not a good commercial proposition. Therefore I decide to bear the production cost myself and to save expenses decided to make the film in a digital format," said Ramchandra, who hails from Udupi in Karnataka but is now settled in Mumbai. "The film depicts the death of the feudal system in coastal Karnataka and the impact of the Land Ceiling Act, ushered in the 1960s and 1970s, on the social structure. Moreover, the film also tries to explore inter-personal relationships," he added. Revealing that he organised special screenings of "Suddha" in Bangalore, Manipal and Mangalore recently to gauge the response of audiences and also to get a distributor, Ramchandra said: "So far I have not been lucky to get a distributor. I would love to have a commercial release of my film. Though I have got a positive response for my film, the market is bleak because in the past 30 years only 15 to 20 films have been made in Tulu."
Ramchandra says the film has a universal appeal and even a foreigner will be able to relate to it. -- Madhur Tankha