Farmers made ‘Manthan’ successful, says director Shyman Benegal ahead of film’s Cannes screening : The Tribune India

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Farmers made ‘Manthan’ successful, says director Shyman Benegal ahead of film’s Cannes screening

Farmers made ‘Manthan’ successful, says director Shyman Benegal ahead of film’s Cannes screening


PTI

“There was no publicity for Manthan, but it developed its own momentum when five lakh Gujarat farmers, who contributed Rs 2 each to produce the film, became its ‘original audience’ by turning up in huge numbers to watch it in different parts of the state,” says director Shyam Benegal about his 1976 classic.

A restored version of Manthan, starring Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah and Girish Karnad, is set to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival’s Classics segment on May 17.

“They’ve done an excellent job. The quality of the print now is better than what the first print of the film was 45 years ago, when the film was made,” Benegal, 89, said.

“Manthan (The Churning) was inspired by the pioneering milk cooperative movement of Verghese Kurien, who led ‘Operation Flood’ to transform India from a milk-deficient country to the world’s biggest milk producer, and is credited for creating the billion dollar brand Amul,” he added.

Benegal, who will skip the premiere due to health reasons, remembers how it became a movement of sorts among farmers of Gujarat to see the movie. “The farmers, who had produced the film, helped make it successful,” he said.

#Gujarat


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