In medias res, NalandaWay

Lens

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In 2009, at NalandaWay we decided to make a feature film. The film was born out of a workshop that we had conducted with children affected by HIV a year earlier. We were excited about the project. We felt that this approach would get a wider light on the issues faced by children living with HIV. Much to my surprise a few reputed producers were willing to back it. But what followed was an agonizing wait for two years. There was no concept of appointments, you may be asked to wait for 3 to 4 hours for no particular reason, you may be called to meet in the middle of night, no one would return your calls, everyone would sing glorious ‘praise’ but would never make a decision. The whole experience was excruciatingly painful for the entire team. I have never met this many unprofessional people all belonging to one industry in my whole life. I seriously wonder how they even manage to complete and release a film with such incompetence and unprofessionalism. Sigh!

Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan was meant to play the male lead in our film. I have been following his posts on his directorial debut film, “Lens.” He recently won the ‘Gollapudi Srinivas Award’ which is given to first time Directors. I recently read his interview in the Times where he spoke about his disappointments and that he was even considering quitting and how the award came in as a much needed ‘shot in the arm’.

His film “Lens’ was screened last week at the Russian Cultural Centre in Chennai. I was also eager to watch the movie because it had one of my favourite theatre actors, Anand Sami playing the lead.

When my friend and I came to the venue, there was commotion and people rushed into the auditorium. We struggled to find a seat inside.

“I only wish if this was a show in movie hall and all of you had bought tickets,” said Jayaprakash while introducing the film.

We all laughed. We also heard your quiet suffering.

Hang in there JP.

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