Chennai-based teacher-turned filmmaker G Prabha who made ‘Ishti’ the first Sanskrit film on a social theme, is all set to make his second film on Sanskrit in spite of all the hurdles.
Prabha said that Sanskrit has no platform. The whole nation owns it but it has no state of its own.
“I felt Sanskrit was the most conducive language for the film. Also, there are no feature films on social issues made in this language. I’m planning for my next Sanskrit movie,” Prabha, who retired as the head of Oriental Languages of Loyola College, Chennai, said.
He accepted that getting producers or distributors for Sanskrit films is very difficult, which had forced him to bear all expenses of his first movie himself.
“Producers and distributors view cinema as an industry. But art cannot be an industry alone. State governments, agencies and festivals can present us a platform to put forth our works,” Prabha added.
Two Sanskrit language feature films were made earlier, but both were on religious or mythological issues.
The story of ‘Ishti’ is set in a conservative Namboodiri Brahmin family in the 1940s and is based on extensive research undertaken by Prabha to portray those times with accuracy.
An organization Brahmina Kshema Sabha has filed a case against the Censor Board and Prabha for the film ‘Ishti’, which narrates the story of a woman’s struggle for breaking through patriarchal chains by using knowledge as the liberator.
Prabha, a fierce critic of commercial cinema said that cinema should be a medium to analyze and present a culture and establish links with people of other cultures.
“Cinema is not only a means to make money. The visual language of cinema is universal and it can work as a force to unify people. It is a very powerful medium to bring people from different walks of life together,” he added.