Champaran Talkies in association with Neo Bihar and Twocircles.net is ready with its next production “The Suspect”. It is based on an unfortunate incident that changes the life of ‘Abdul Rahim Ansari’ of Darbhanga who comes to Mumbai for a film related job. National award winner Nitin Neera Chandra will be at the helm of direction and we got a chance to interact with him to know more about his upcoming project which will be released this coming Feb/March.
On being asked the reason for making a short film after having directed 3 full length feature films,
Nitin said that short films are a trend among all classes of directors. Neeraj pandey directed “Ouchh”, Sujoy Ghosh directed “Ahalya”, Anurag Kashyap had directed “That day after Everyday”, Sudhir Mishra directed “Kirchiyan” and all of them are very recent films. “Short films never go out of vogue. For me more than the length of the film, the narrative matters.” A few Feature films are also in pipeline by the way which will be shot in Bihar and Jharkhand.
The subject of the movie is a Muslim man who lands up in trouble just because he’s a Muslim and its a story that has been inspired by a real life incident.
“Nisar ud din Ahmad’s story shook me from within. I saw a pic in which he was hugging his mother. He was in prison for 23 years. As a suspect he could not prove his innocence for years. There are times when a judicial system based on witnesses and facts fail too. My story is about such breakdowns.“
There are many real stories of Muslim youth across the world who are arrested on suspicion and sent to prison. Nitin adds that it really pains him to see Darbhanga, which is a cultural capital of Bihar, been given a bad name because of a few people. Someone has coined the term “Darbhanga Module” and branded innocent Muslims with a wrongful intention. This kind of sweeping generalization is not only inhumane but also takes away the sanity of both the victim and the perpetrator which in the bigger picture harms generations.
It is one of those projects where the subject chose the director and not the other way round says the director of “Mithila Makhaan” fame. It’s hard to chose anything if you are not with all your heart and soul into it. The message is against the bias which a lot of Muslim youth faces every now and then in our polarized world. Something happens in some part of the world and we start generalising and victimising Muslim youth in general and start putting them in a grey bracket.
“We have to make the world a better place and instil a sense of objectification in the minds of people. I have lived all my life in Patna and I’ve had Muslim friends since my school days from Sabzibagh and Patna city. I have never felt any kind of a difference.”
All the actors playing a part are immensely talented. Durgesh Kumar, an NSD grad who has been a part of successful feature films like Sultan, Freaky Ali and Highway, plays Abdul Rahim Ansari in “The Suspect“. Gopal singh, another famous face of Hindi cinema also plays an important character in the short film. Bullu, from Aparna theatre circuit will also be seen in the movie.
The film has been shot in Maithili and English. The movie is a high budget short film, and is different from other short films in the Budget to length scale.
“We arranged funds from several people to give it the right shape for an International appeal.”
Director Nitin says that his sense of ownership and sensitivity towards Bihar makes him conceptualize movies about Bihar and Biharis. He considers this gift of sensitivity a blessing from the almighty and is grateful for all that he has been able to do. Nitin signs off promising a good, honest and engaging edge of the seat thriller which will surely enthral its audience, Inshallah!