“Summer 2007” has been nominated for the 4th Asian Festival of 1st Films (AFFF) to be held in Singapore from 4th December to 10th December 2008.The film is selected in the category of Best Original scri pt/Screenplay by Bijesh
Summer 2007 is based on harsh realities of today’s India where there are some 36 billionaires; economy is scaling a trillion dollar mark but still some 80 million people live for less than Rs.20 a day. Rural poverty and lack of facilities in villages is so wide spread that Farmer are forced to end their lives rather than continuing to live miserably under debt and dishonor. Urban India for sure is reaping the benefits of close to double digit growth rate and development, infrastructure etc.
Summer 2007 – a film on this sensitive issue of farmers’ suicide in Vidarbha Region of Maharashtra is produced by Atul Pandey and directed by Suhail Tatari.
The story is about five medical students from a capitation fee college in India who represent the urban youth hooked onto Xbox’s and formula 1 racing. A cinematic twist of events and a gamer gone too far, they land up in one of the most deprived villages in interior Maharashtra. Their rural posting turns into a soul searching journey where they are forced to confront their own apathy, fear and their strange complicity in the circumstances of the village. They are sucked into the whirlpool of village politics and feudal counter currents and need to make a choice. Do they leave the mess just as they had found it and get away from there….or do they choose to get involved?
Atul was extremely toxic for a long time. “No one can even imagine what I have gone through in the past nearly five months. I knew we had a good film, I knew it would be appreciated all over but the film was peeled off the face of the earth so swiftly that I could not do anything about it. I made noises but no one heard me. I have adored and loved this Industry, I belong here, but I never knew some people could be shylocks”. Critics had a ball at our cost. They said, ‘film had just too much of it’, ‘it had farmers issues, administration and politician nexus, it had naxalites, it had social reformers. I am perplexed at their lack of intelligence and knowledge, there would be no farmer committing suicide if administration and politics did not have a nexus, naxalism stems from troubled areas, and wherever there is apathy, there are reformists. I think critics are not used to stories in cinema, dance, drama, music and humour that’s it’.
‘But fortunately, most of the critics outside Mumbai wrote wonderful things about the film. I was pleasantly surprised when a show on MTV gave our film 3 stars and young kids spoke nice things about it. A social organization got some 500 farmers to see the film in Allahabad. I had tears in my eyes seeing their reactions, they didn’t know that farmer deaths are so widespread in Vidarbha – they said they themselves were poor else they would have done something for their brothers’.
In all the movie touches a very sensitive and important issue of our society. We wish them all the very best.