When Anshul Sinha, a young filmmaker from Hyderabad decided in 2013 to make a film based on the true life of a man who performs the last rites of unclaimed dead bodies, little did he know that it would be one of the hardest undertakings of his life.
Two years later, the movie is ready for a release but is facing a really hard time finding distributors willing to release it in movie theatres.
"Everywhere I went for the past four months, I'm receiving the same response - 'no one will come to a cinema hall to watch dead bodies,' the distributors are telling me," Anshul says.
However, this is not the first hurdle that the movie has faced.
"I started off 'Gateway to Heaven' with an intention to tell the story of Rajeshwar Rao who started his foundation called the 'Satya Harishchandra foundation' in 1994 because I thought he was really doing a noble deed," says the 25-year-old.
Anshul is all praise for Rajeshwar Rao who he says is "one of the most hardworking people" he has met as he has "also been fighting the organ mafia for the past twenty years".
Anshul was hit with his first hurdle soon as soon as he decided to make the film.
"Nobody was ready to produce the film. All the producers thought it was a waste of time and money. So I took up a job with a corporate at night to fund for my movie making in the day," he says.
However, things went really bad at one point.
"I was sleep deprived and also went into severe depression and images of dead bodies used to haunt me at night. I couldn't focus on the job with the MNC and they kicked me out. But I used all the funds I had and somehow managed to finish the film," Anshul says.
As of now, Anshul has done 41 films which have received 88 awards, including 4 International awards. He is also a TED speaker.
Anshul came to know about Rao and his foundation in 2013 when he was doing a film on bio-medical waste in Hyderabad titled 'The Unseen Disaster'. His present film involves a little bit of animation and pencil sketches.
While doing his research and shooting for the film, Anshul claims to have done some digging to find out more about the organ trade industry as a side venture for the film and soon found himself buried deep in it.
"Many people refused to let us shoot parts of the film. I risked my own life a few times to record a few sting operations. I even got a few threat calls from people involved in the organ trade warning me against releasing the film," Anshul adds.
Anshul now claims he is on the brink of exposing large scale violations by government run hospitals in the city and also a thriving underground organ trade with many municipal officials from the GHMC in the nexus.
Gateway to Heaven has already been selected to be screened at a few film festivals including The International Indigenous Film Festival in Venezuela at the end of this month.
It even got a clearance from the censor board on November 2, with an 'Adult' certificate.
The film is going to premiere at Annapurna Studios in the city on December 13 and is in dire need of distributors refuse to release the film.
Anshul feels that the atmosphere for documentary makers is not up to the mark and there is a long way to go before distributors start screening independent film makers and documentaries in cinema halls.
"I'm not doing this film for the money. I'm doing it to create awareness and distributors should understand that films play a greater role in society than just making money," Anshul adds.
Watch the trailer of the film here.
Anshul can be contacted at email@example.com and the website of the foundation on which the movie is based can be found here.
Watch the documentary part of the film here.
Gateway to Heaven ...is a documentary fictional film which will narrate a story of red trade in 4 different ART form, ANIMATION, PENCIL SKETCHING, FICTION, DOCUMENTARY......below is the trailer of Documentary part of the film ...............Posted by Gateway to Heaven on Tuesday, March 10, 2015