How This Veteran Farmer Became A Filmmaker And Helped Take Cinema To Masses

Posted by Radhika Ralhan in Culture-Vulture, Inspiration, Media
May 16, 2017

When we think ‘cinema crew’, we think of high-end techies and ‘skilled’ people. In India, filmmaking is still treated like rocket science – something from a distant world. Cinema may be a mass medium, but there is very little participation from the common masses in its making. It needs to expand and be made more democratic, to involve the masses in the process of its making and viewing.

We, at Studio Sarvahara, believe in the democratisation of the filmmaking process in India and are trying our best to involve common people in the process.

Meet our line producer Ram Piyare Yadav, a farmer from a village in Uttar Pradesh.

Ram Piyare Yadav is a 70-year-old farmer who has watched only a few films in his life. Our team approached him with our script and requested him to help us shoot in his village. We asked him to join our team as a line producer. Initially, he was very hesitant as he had many different preconceptions about films. The power of the script which made him feel connected to the life of an outcast.

He clarified some of his doubts when our director Pawan K Shrivastava briefed him about the duties and responsibility of a line producer. It was a very interesting question-answer session, at the end of which, we finally convinced him to join our team as a line producer.

Ram Piyare Yadav is fondly known as dada bhaiya in the village and beyond. On the first day, excited like all of us, he noted down all the necessary information in a small diary that he always keeps close. Then, in the chilly evenings, all of us would sit together and discuss the progress of the day and plan for the next day.

The word ‘no’ does not exist in his dictionary for any kind of job. He arranged for us the weirdest and most amusing props that could be found in the village, always with a kind smile. He was also a constant guide and support with prompt suggestions that helped us till the end.

Staying in his house, we never saw him around in the early mornings. His early mornings were taken up by long bicycle rides around all the nearby villages, gathering necessary permissions and going prop hunting for us. We would see him around noon, calling each one of us for delicious lunches.

Dada bhaiya never let a day pass without boosting our morale, saying, “Pawan beta, tumne kahaani bahut hi shandaar likhi hai (You have written a splendid story).” Understanding the nuances of the film was as smooth as slicing butter for him. It did not take him long in talking like a professional to us about the ‘location’, ‘actors’, ‘costumes’, etc.

He still loves enquiring about the progress of the film and the whereabouts of the team and calls us every two days. He is like family for us, without whose love and support, “Life of an Outcast” would be incomplete.

Dada bhaiya dedicated all of his days and nights to us except those two hours when he would cut the grass and feed his cattle, saying, “Ye do ghante bhainsi ke liye hai, varna bhookhi reh jaayengi (these two hours are for the buffalos, or they will stay hungry).

When we explained to him the idea of a crowdfunding campaign, all he said was, “Tum logon ko safalta zaroor milegi (You people will surely succeed).” All of you who have supported us till now, please accept Dada Bhaiya’s humble gratitude as well. He remains a strong pillar in our team and has already begun preparations for the world premiere of the film in his village.

Studio Sarvahara wants to transform the process of filmmaking and make it a mass medium in the true sense. We want to connect cinema with rural India. The film will be subtitled in 10 languages and will be screened in 500 villages across India prior to its release for the urban audience.

To support our endeavours through donations or to watch the trailer for “Life of an Outcast”, please visit www.studiosarvahara.com. Come forward to stand with us in this movement. We are waiting for you!! #LifeOfAnOutcast

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