When director Praveen Morchhale made an unusual request to his fans, he was not quite prepared for the overwhelming support that would pour in for his film — a nostalgia-driven sojourn into the indulgent relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild.
After collecting accolades at 12 film festivals in India and abroad, Morchhale’s 'Barefoot To Goa’ still needed a bit of push to help its release.
So Morchhale reached out to fans and said he needed to borrow a sum of Rs 50 lakh within 45 days (the film is scheduled for a March-April 2015 release). A part of the proceedings will go to HelpAge India, a charity organisation for the elderly.
His prayers were heard: at last count, around 240 people contributed through Morchhale's Proud Funding Campaign, and the director claimed that this was the first time ever in India that the public helped fund a feature film's release.
“I thank you all for helping me in raising funds to release the movie ‘Barefoot To Goa’ in theatres so it can reach the maximum audience possible. The film is creating ripples at film festivals across the world and now its real journey, to theatres across India, begins. This story has never before been told on screen,” he said.
This is Morchhale’s debut film and he has promised that money he raised will be given back to the donors by the end of August 2015.
‘Barefoot To Goa’ showcases how close relationships often suffer in today’s fast paced life, with a heavy emphasis on bonds between parents, children and grandparents. The film’s plot deals with two grandchildren who run away from their Mumbai home to Goa to find their ill grandmother and bring her back.
As the story unfolds, it shows how the grandmother (Farrukh Jaffar who also acted in Aamir Khan’s ‘Peepli Live’ and ‘Swades’) writes letters every month to her son and sends sweetmeats and playthings for her grandchildren (Saara Nahar and Prakar Morchhale - Praveen's son). However, the children’s mother who thinks that Jaffar is looking for an excuse to invade their Mumbai home does not pass on the letters to her husband.
A review by the Hindu quotes Morchhale as saying that his message is for all adults today. “We’ve lost relationships. There is no connect between people. Everybody is a victim of their situation and no one can be blamed,” says Morchhale. “I want my film to raise questions. I decided from the beginning, that my film was not going to be an answer for anything. I didn’t want to be verbose, or judgemental. Silence is a character in my film.”
The Hindu also said that the film received an overwhelming and warm response at the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFES). It has also received excellent reviews across the board, in spite of being a small-budget film: Jugu Abraham has praised the movie in his review, saying it is definitely a breath of fresh air for Indian cinema, struggling to survive in a cinematic whirlpool where world cinema is progressing by leaps and bounds.