Stigma kills AIDS patient more than the actual disease; filmmaker

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Panaji, Nov 29 (UNI) 'Kalchakra', a Marathi film dealing with the emotional and psychological problems of an AIDS patient, was made to depict the message that stigma kills the patient more than the actual disease.

The film starring Sachin Khedekar and other prominent Marathi actors was screened at the ongoing 38th IFFI to an overwhelming response from the delegates.

Speaking to reporters here, the film's director Vishal Bhandari felt there was a lot of fear driven propoganda in the AIDS awareness campaign. ''This has threatened the society so much that it does not want to be associated with HIV infected people. If this is the situation, how is the patient going to live without support and why does the sympathy of the people fail. These were the core issues, I wanted to address in the film,'Vishal added.

Actor Sachin Khedekar also known for his portrayal of Netaji Bose in Shyam Benegal's film' 'Bose-the forgotten hero' said Kalchakra gave him the satisfaction of portraying something which goes beyond the routine acting assignment. Actors tend to get cast in the images created about them in conventional mainstream cinema and roles like Kalchakra help the actors to experiment with themselves.

''Even I was ignorant about AIDS but performing in this film was a learning experience about the emotional trauma of the patients, ''he added. Khedekar also expressed happiness that four Marathi films of different genres were screened at the IFFI in the Indian panorama section. ''The subjects handled are so different and varied that it proves that Marathi cinema is coming of age,'' the actor added.

Producer Avinash Omkar said the film has already been released in Pune and will be released in Mumbai and other cities of Maharashtra soon. He admitted Marathi films were facing distribution problems and sought the media's help to promote Marathi films, which have a social message.

Mr Omkar also said he approached about 3500 NGOs to take the film to the grassroot but there was no response. Only the World Bank had a special screening at its New Delhi office and will have another at its Washington office next month.

He added the film was shot in 17 days at a budget of Rs 60 lakh.


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