Why Al Jazeera documentary filmmaker Gautam Singh made his Bollywood debut with GAON
Filmmaker Gautam Singh is known for his award-winning documentaries for Al Jazeera. However, when it came to his film GAON, he was sure that he wanted to make it into a full-feature presentation. Thus, with GAON, Gautam stepped into the world of Bollywood. He felt that that was the only format that people from his community will recognise. “For the last 15 years, I’ve been making award-winning documentaries but my villagers won’t take me seriously as a filmmaker. They will believe me only if they can see my film at the nearest cinema hall, which is still 50 kms away and will never show a documentary film,” he says.
He adds, “Therefore, I decided to make a Hindi Bollywood feature film which will play in the nearest cinema hall, where I can take my villagers to watch it. The story of ‘GAON’ is inspired by the true events of my own village in Jharkhand, India.”
In fact, his love for cinema originated when he was in the village itself, “I grew up in a remote village in the Indian state of Jharkhand. I was fascinated by the art of movies and wanted to become a filmmaker ever since a travelling cinema group passed through my isolated village when I was 10 years old,” he says, adding, “Since the nearest movie theatre was 50km away from my village and there were no buses around, so I would walk almost a day to watch a film and then come back.”
“Gaon The village no more” is directed by Gautam Singh, stars Shadab kamal, Neha Mahajan, Gopal K Singh, Rohit Pathak, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Omkar Das Manikpuri, Shishir Sharma, Praveena Deshpande. The film is slated to release on 26 October 2018.