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Posted at: Apr 18, 2015, 12:18 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2015, 9:15 PM (IST)

Partition pangs

Partition pangs

True Story: Kartar Cheema, Amann Grewal and Japtej Singh 

Mona

While films often exploit the anti-Pak sentiment to get a go on box office, Mitti Na Pharol Jogia treads a path totally different. Inspired by a true incident from the unfortunate event that divided families across the border in 1947, this Punjabi movie is releasing world- wide, including Pakistan.

Penned and directed by Avtar Singh, the film has Kartar Cheema, Amann Grewal and Japtej Singh in lead roles. At the launch of the film’s music, the cast opened up on the journey.

Sensitive angle

Having assisted Anurag Basu as production head for Barfi, Avtar Singh headed home to lead a life of quiet. However, dejected at the way Punjabi cinema was hitting a low every week, it made him partner with Ram Sidhu who backed this project financially. “When growing up village Chhajli, district Sangrur, a man named Sucha Singh would talk of an incident that has stayed with me this long. We fictionalised the story to bring out a sensitive tale.”

The film charts the story of a boy who crosses the border to get a rakhi tied by his sister and who ends up in the police custody to be humiliated and tortured. The film which was shot largely in Punjab invokes a true rural feel and so does the music which is given by Desi Crew and Kannu Jimmy.

True flavour

Kartar Cheema enacts Sucha Singh’s role in the film. “I actually spent time in village Chhajali where he lived and talked to people who he had lived with, to get his gait and manners right,” says the handsome actor who came in total Punajbi avatar.

Sure of the film’s subject to be the real hero, Kartar feels that the reason why even Bollywood actors could not connect with the Punjabi viewers is because they want to see and hear real Punjab and Punjabi.

“Talk of a Punjabi gabru and immediately you see a six-feet-tall guy. When the imports from other industries don’t match up the scale or the Punjabi they speak isn’t authentic they lose the audience.”

Young achiever

Japtej Singh, who played young Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, plays the young hero in this one too. “We shot the film during the holiday period and thanks to the supportive cast I enjoyed the experience,” shares this class X student, who is keen to take up acting seriously provided offers like this keep coming his way.

Budget issue

Hopeful of his film hitting a high note with movie- goers, Avtar shares that apart from the story, film makers must keep the economics of the film-making in mind. “If we make big budget movies like Bollywood and expect profits, it isn’t going to work. We have limited audience and we must keep that in mind. In fact, our film was made in 25 per cent less the budget that we had kept for it.”

Avtar, who is releasing the film on May 8, his mentor Anurag Basu’s birthday, is exploring his next film to be in two languages— Hindi or Bengali maybe…

mona@tribunemail.com

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