‘Jeetige’ wins National Film Award in Tulu category

Naveen D. Padil, Lead actor.

Naveen D. Padil, Lead actor.

Poster of ‘Jeetige’ that won the National Award in Tulu cinema category announced on July 22.

Poster of ‘Jeetige’ that won the National Award in Tulu cinema category announced on July 22. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Jeetige (Deevatige-traditional torch), produced by Arun Rai Thodar and Directed by Santhosh Mada with Naveen D. Padil as the lead actor won the National Film Awards 2022 in Tulu cinema category in the awards announced in New Delhi on July 22, Friday.

The film was based on COVID-19 pandemic wherein a Daivaradhane Paathri (spirit worshiper) eagerly awaits for the return of his son working on a ship that was stranded somewhere due to the pandemic. Taniyappa (Naveen D Padil), the worshiper of Koraga spirit who had almost gave up the tradition as it did not yield much money, returns to Kola Kattuvike (worshipper role) hoping the safe return of his son.

Born and brought up in Mangaluru, Mr. Mada, who is now settled in Udyavara in Kerala bordering Dakshina Kannada, had worked as a co-director with Abhaya Simha in his Shikari movie. He had also worked with Malayalam Director Jayaraj. Though he was not sure of getting the Award, he had some hope on it.

“Being a Mangalurean, I intended to showcase the rich cultural heritage, the spirit worship and similar things of the region through the film. The pandemic was a trigger when I learned about over 100 Indian sailors were stranded onboard their ship near Japan and used it as the base for Jeetige,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Padil said performing Taniyappa’s role that was more than his actual age was a learning experience. While Jeetige (torch) was a part and parcel of Koragajja worship, Taniyappa’s son Prakash (JP Thuminad) was the Jeetige in his personal life. Since Kola Kattuvike did not bring much money for Taniyappa, he did not want his son to continue the tradition; instead made him to get a job onboard a ship. Taniyappa gradually stopped Kola Kattuvike meanwhile.

His refusal to donning spirit worshipper’s role at the Guttu House coincided with son’s marriage proposal failing, followed by the son getting stranded onboard the ship. It made him to return to spirit worship, Mr. Padil said. Unlike his known characters as a comedy actor, Mr. Padil performs an entirely different role in Jeetige.

Shashiraj Kavoor wrote the screenplay, Saxophone Jayaram rendered the music while Unni Madavur did the cinematography.

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Printable version | Jul 23, 2022 12:01:14 am |