Sohel F Fidai
Mumbai, 23 September 2019: Boutique film studio Platoon One Films has ventured into Marathi film production with the feature Picasso starring National Award winner Prasad Oak. Written and directed by debutant Abhijeet Mohan Warang, the film will be screening at the 10th edition of the prestigious Jagran Film Festival, Mumbai on September 28th, and at the 7th Bramhaputra Valley Film Festival, Guwahati on September 29th. To celebrate, the makers have released the intriguing first look of the film depicting ‘Dashavatara’, considered as one of the oldest forms of folk theatre in the world.
Picasso is the first Marathi film to document Dashavatra in its original format. As per popular folklore, the origins of this folk art form can be traced back to Lakshmi-Narayan Temple in the Valaval town of Tal Konkan, where the film has been shot.
The art form has survived for more than 800 years without any royal patronage or government support. To this date, for more than 3,50,000 artists, this art form is the only source of livelihood. Abhijeet Warang, the writer-director of Picasso, shares: “Despite financial struggles and dependence on people’s patronage, many Dashavatara artists still perform these plays dutifully and true to the phrase – All the world’s a stage! The film is intended as a tribute to such countless performers, singers, and artists.”
The film is introducing child actor Samay Sanjeev Tambe, with Prasad Oak playing his troubled alcoholic father. One of the most sought after actors in the Marathi film industry, Prasad Oak recently made his directorial debut Kaccha Limbu which won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Marathi last year.
Tushar Paranjape, the writer of award-winning Marathi film Killa, is the creative director of Picasso. On what drew him towards this story, he shares “The world of Dashavatara had always intrigued me. In this film, we’ve tried to capture the everyday, internal struggles of an artist’s life. The relentless, painful yet gratifying artistic process, from doubting yourself to discovering yourself – again and again.”
The film is slated for a winter 2019 release.
About Picasso: Gandharva, a 7th grade student from a remote village in the Konkan belt of Maharashtra is selected for a National Painting Competition. The winner gets to travel to Spain – Picasso’s birthplace – to hone their art. But entering the competition requires a fee that his parents cannot afford. With an ailing mother and a father struggling with debt and alcoholism, the chances of him being able to participate look slim. Gandharva’s father Pandurang was once an accomplished stage actor, but his addiction now stands in the way of him performing, which were both his passion and a means to provide for his family. Will Pandurang be able to fight his demons and bring his art back to life – not for himself, but for his son? Picasso is a story about fathers and sons, hopes and dreams – of life imitating art, and how art can heal lives.
Founder of Platoon One Films and the producer of Picasso, Shiladitya Bora says, “The Marathi film industry today is one of the most evolved and versatile film industries. It has produced some cutting-edge cinema in recent years, which has won critical acclaim and also broken box office records. We at Platoon One Films aspire to tell such stories and contribute to this vibrant industry in our own little way.”
Bora had earlier produced Yours Truly, a drama starring Soni Razdan, Pankaj Tripathi and Ahana Kumra and directed by National Award winner Sanjoy Nag, which premiered at last year’s Busan international film festival and is now streaming on Zee5. A producer, filmmaker and distributor, Bora has also been associated with some of the best Indian independent cinema of the past decade with films such as Court, Masaan, Newton among others. His debut short film, Aapke Aa Jaane Se, recently won the best international short film award at the prestigious Cindependent Film Festival 2019 in Cincinnati.