Pune, March 9, 2022: We need books on the major filmmakers analyzing their historical and socio-political perspectives, that would benefit the younger generation, expressed Girish Kasarvalli, legendary filmmaker. He was speaking at the launch of a book titled ‘Seer of Contemporary History: Girish Kasarvalli and his Cinema’ written by Ganesh Matkari. The book launch event took place at the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) as part of the ongoing Pune International Film Festival (PIFF).
Dr.Jabbar Patel, veteran filmmaker and the festival director of PIFF, Prakash Magdum, director, NFAI and Samar Nakhate, creative director, PIFF were present for the occasion. The book was launched at the hands of Girish Kasarvalli. The book has been published by the ‘Publication Division’ of the Government of India.
This is the 9th book published in English on the veteran filmmaker who has won 14 national awards in his illustrious career. Kasarvalli praised Ganesh Matkari for the analysis of his films. “Matkari tried to understand the perspectives and ideas of my films. I really liked his approach. I feel more such literature on other filmmakers should also come out,” said Kasaravalli.
He further reminisced about his times in Pune as a student of Film & Television Institute of India (FTII). He said, “exactly 50 years ago, I landed in Pune and appeared for the entrance exam of FTII and became a student. Today, I feel honored and pleased that the same city and place have published a book on my films.”
This book has been a product of the Research Programme run by NFAI to promote research and writing on cinema. Magdum on this occasion shared that this is the 20th book launched by NFAI as an outcome of the research programme. He said, “Kasarvalli is one of the best Indian filmmakers and this book does justice to his perspective of making films. Our research programme intends to support such projects and bring out more books in the near future,” said Magdum.
While analyzing Kasarvalli’s films, Nakhate said that Kasarvalli is a filmmaker who has strong native roots and depicts the journey of human beings that want to travel ahead in life. “I believe the title of this book is very apt because it makes us understand Kasarvalli’s cinema from the historical perspective and helps us look ahead in time because of its contemporary context,” he said.
Matakari, while sharing his own perspective about the book and Kasarvalli’s cinema, said, “Kasarvalli’s films highlight the relationship between an individual and the society. It talks about how systems have become corrupt. Even his old films make thoughtful commentary on contemporary times,” he said. He further added that all films made by Kasarvalli emphasize on certain systemic issues such as Gulabi Talkies talks about the impact of political PR, Ghatashradha talks about the impact of religion on the individuals and Koormavatara about the impact of media culture. “One can say that every film by Kasarvalli has a common man at the heart of the narrative,” said Matkari.
Dr Patel, while concluding the session said that PIFF is planning to host a retrospective on Kasarvalli’s films in next year’s 21st edition of the festival. “Each of Kasarvalli’s films have inner thought and have always been ahead of time. This book must be read by a young generation of filmmakers to understand his work. After Satyajit Ray, if a few names that could be taken of that stature in Indian cinema, then Kasarvalli is one of them,” he concluded.