Gautam Singh: My film GAON is inspired by my village in Jharkhand

New Delhi, 16th October 2018:  "Gaon The village no more" is directed by Gautam Singh, stars Shadab kamal, Neha Mahajan, Gopal K Singh, Rohit Pathak, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Omkar Das Manikpuri, Shishir Sharma, Praveena Deshpande. The film is slated to release on 26 October 2018. 

 It is a feeling of community that runs through Gautam Singh’s film GAON. While you may wonder if such a concept of harmonious living ever existed, it may interest you to know that the director took inspiration from his own village in Jharkhand for this particular project. “GAON  is inspired by the true story of my village in Jharkhand. Once, in this remote and isolated community, villagers coexisted like members of a large extended family where they maintained a unique way of life—mellow and harmonious, celebratory and united,” he says.

However, the influx of money and structures completely succeeded in killing this feeling of community. “With the passage of time, government and private agencies alike made inroads into this simple community, throwing open the floodgates of drastic change which would come to erode the very fabric of village society. With the arrival of new institutions such as government schools, a police force, and a banking system, money began pouring in. The village began to change,” he says, adding, “It came to possess many of the same amenities found in modern urban centres around the world. Citizens disengaged from one another, growing progressively private, limiting interaction, and keeping to themselves and their families. The agricultural way of life and the traditional spirit of self-sufficiency were shunned in favour of reliance on government support or the earnings of a single-family member working in the city.”

The fabric of not only his village but numerous villages across the country has been altered thanks to this change. This is the focus of the film as well. “Regrettably, so many villages across India share the same story of erosion. GAON is the story of two India’s, completely indifferent to each other but living side by side to co-exist,” he says.

Not only is the basic framework derived from his own life, but Gautam confesses that some of his characters too are based on people from his own village. "The story is indeed inspired by true events of my own village – Asaria in Jharkhand. Most of the characters in the film – the mad scientist living on the mountain, Vaidji (the spiritual doctor and leader), Mangla (the muscle man), Sango and even Bharat are the real people from my village. I have just fictionalised certain events to make them more interesting and acceptable for the wider audience," he says.

Ø   Gopal K Singh as Vaidji
Gopal is known for his works in Bollywood films like Budha in the traffic Jam, Page3, Ek Hasina thi, Traffic Signal, Culcutta Mail, Company, Bardast, Hate Story, Lethal Commission, Darna Jaroori Hai, Mumbai Mirror, Jail and many more

Ø  Neha Mahajan as Sango
Neha has played lead role several well-known films such as Midnight’s Children (2012), Coffee Ani Barach Kahi (2015), Youth (2016), TTMM (2017) etc.

Ø  Rohit Pathak as Mangla
Rohit Pathak is an actor, known for Once Upon a Time in Mumbai (2010), Mithya (2008) and Jannat 2 (2012).

Ø  Shadab Kamal as Bharat
Shadab Kamal is an actor, known for B.A. Pass (2012), Meeruthiya Gangsters (2015) and Har Har Byomkesh (2015).

Ø  Omkar Das Manikpuri as Sambhu

Omkar Das Manikpuri is an actor, known for Peepli Live (2010), India's Daughter (2015) and Monsoon Shootout (2013).

Ø  Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Vaidji

Dibyendu Bhattacharya is an actor, known for Dev.D (2009), Black Friday (2004) and Lootera (2013).

Gautam’s documentary ‘My Sister Laxmi’ recently won the ‘Award of Merit’ in the ‘International Film Awards Berlin’ and the ‘Best Documentary Jury Award’ in the 4th Bangalore Shorts Film Festival.

His eight-part (one hour each) documentary series ‘Indian Hospital’ and ‘Indian Hospital Revisited’ was the three top finalists for ‘best documentary series’ BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) in 2013.

Gautam’s other film ‘Daughters of the Brothel’, ended up changing the fortune of a Bihar brothel. After watching this film, people from around the world sent fund to the trust set up by the lead character, Naseema. She was eventually able to turn entire brothel into a small-scale industry hub.
Last year Gautam did an investigative documentary on Jharia mines called ‘The Burning City’