Ignored by producers, filmmaker turns to the audience for funding film on farmer suicides

The main aim of our film is to save farmers’ lives. It must sound crazy, but we will achieve it.
Ignored by producers, filmmaker turns to the audience for funding film on farmer suicides
Ignored by producers, filmmaker turns to the audience for funding film on farmer suicides
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By Anshul Sinha

I am Anshul Sinha, an Indie-filmmaker from Hyderabad. I have made 41 films for which I have received 102 awards at various film festivals in India. But I’ve never got producers to make my films. Whatever money I got in the form of awards, I converted that into making good films, which help the society.

For my last project ‘Gateway to heaven’, I took a night shift job and in the day, I used to complete my project. Gateway to heaven got 3 theatrical releases in England, Italy and in Venezuela.

In Venezuela, the complete film was dubbed in Spanish, apart from 3 theatrical releases in 3 different countries. Gateway to heaven has received 5 awards at various national and International film festivals.

Dr Ramanjaneyulu GV, Executive Director of Centre of Sustainable Agriculture liked the film, and offered us an opportunity to work on a film on agrarian crisis in India.

We started working on this project in the year 2015 (November). I was working in an MNC as a customer executive at that time, and I completely left my job and started working on my new project, ‘Mitti-Back to the roots’.

After leaving my MNC job I joined as Assistant Director in a local production house in Hyderabad, for 4 months I did my research work on the reasons of agrarian crisis in India. After 4 months of study I submitted my research work to my production house but they didn't even see my work and refused to produce the film.

It’s back to square one for me now. I have learned only one thing in my life and that is to never give up until the last breath. With this spirit I continued my journey now in the day I work for production houses and in the night and during weekends, I work on my new project.

My team, Rajnish Sharma (teaches theatre in schools), Babu Yadav (works in an MNC), Sarvana Kumar, Kanna Vardharaj (photographer) and I meet every night at around 10pm, and we work on the project until 1am, sometimes 2am.

It took us 5 months to complete the script of the film, and we finished our pre-production in October.

To write the screenplay of the film we practically learned farming and agriculture for 2 months under the guidance of Ramanjaneyulu GV. The first person to whom we pitched our story was Ramanjaneyulu sir, we did the complete test shoot of the film in a single room and showed it to him.

He liked our story very much, and this was a motivation for us. We then started searching for producers in the month of October, we have even made on location storyboards of each and every frame in the film. I left my job of assistant director and started working full time on this project.

We went to almost 22 production houses in Hyderabad and in Mumbai but no one even gave us a chance to enter their office, everyone told us to leave from the reception itself.

Many Sponsors said farmer suicides are common issues, and a suicide in a village doesn't affect people living in the city. Until and unless it doesn't effects to the people in the city no one will come to watch such films.

After 3 months of running behind production houses we decided to start crowd funding. We made an appeal video in which we have mentioned about the vision of our project. The main aim of our film is to save farmers life.

It must sound crazy, but we have practically proved that we can do it with our previous films.

Many professional filmmakers are saying it’s impossible to make a 90 minute film with a small budget of 4 to 5 lakhs but our team is working hard on this and I am sure that we we will make it possible.

A few people who said they wanted to support us didn't even see our research, and directly asked how we can make huge profits out of this.

If we can save at least 1 life of a farmer with the help of this film then that will be equal to 100 crore to us. With this article I want to appeal to the people to support our film to raise funds for our film.

We will be doing free road shows of this film in the areas where major farmer suicides have happened. We don't have producers and distributors to take this film to the audience, but we need support of audience to reach this film to all the villages of this country.

You can contribute and donate to the film here.

Note: Views expressed are personal opinions of the author.

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