Young rural director’s art film ‘Potra’ highlighting the state of adolescent girls in rural Maharashtra creates waves at various international film festivals

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Pune, 22 February 2022: Shankar Dhotre’s art film ‘Potra’ which attempts to throw light on the state of girls of adolescent age in rural areas is creating waves in various international film festivals. The film was adjudged as the best film in the Halicarnassus Film Festival held in Turkey a few days back. This second accolade came just within a month after Shankar won the Best Debut Director’s award at the 25th World Film Carnival-Singapore for the film.

Shankar Dhotre who hails from Shirapur village in the Solapur district of Maharashtra comes from a strong rural background and has managed to effectively handle the sensitive topic related to the plight of girls in the adolescent age in rural Maharashtra.


Commenting on the topic of the film debutant director Shankar Dhitre said, “The story takes place in Solapur district, ‘Potra’ means a grain of sorghum. According to the plot, if the corn starts rolling in the field, it needs more care. This signifies that the girl who is coming of age should be treated in the same way.”


The film was shot at five different locations in the Solapur district before the Corona pandemic and has proved to be capable of fetching the attention of viewers from all over the world on this sensitive subject related to young girls.


“I worked on the script for nearly 8-9 years and visited over 200 villages in Maharashtra for research and selecting locations and casts for the film. I wanted to cast ordinary villagers rather than seasoned actors,” adds Dhotre, stating that the characters in the film, especially the protagonist are nomads from a humble background who had to be trained for the roles.


“I met many people, visited schools and did auditions after which I finally settled on the girl, Chakuli Pralhad Deokar who plays the lead in the film. By seeing her simplicity and innocence, I realized she would fit the role even though there was some resistance from her mother,” he states.


Shankar thanked the producer of the film Sharad Shingade mentioning that it took 24 days to complete shooting of the film along with 4 months of pre-production work for completing the film. Special emphasis was laid on keeping the script crisp and clear and various challenges faced during the shooting schedule were overcome with the help of team members like Shashikant Dhotre and Swapnaja Raje Nimbalkar.


Apart from Deokar, Suhas Munde, Deepali Kamble, Nanda Kate, Shreyas Hanwate, Mahesh Mane, Urmila Jadhav, Balasaheb Sathe have played roles in the film. Also Sharad Shingade (Producer), Ranjit Mane (Cinematography Director), Sameer Suman (Sound Designer), Vinod Raje (Digital Intermediate) and Mayur Borkar (Executive Producer) participated in making of the film.