By Utpal Borpujari
Have you heard about Malegaon Ke Sholay, Malegaon Ki Shaan, Malegaon Ka Superman or Gabbarbhai MBBS?
Don’t despair if you have not, as they are spoofs of some of the biggest blockbusters, made by a bunch of cinema-crazy guys with shoe-string budgets and shown through video projectors at – yes, guessed it right – Malegaon, the Maharashtra town known otherwise for its communal tension and powerloom industry.
Now, this cottage industry of films shot with cheap video cameras, which in a way symbolizes the passion with which Indians follow their cinema, is all set to get a platform to project itself to the world, with the forthcoming 40th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa planning to showcase a couple of these films.
Innovatively titled “Spoof Cinema”, a new section at the Goa IFFI will showcase films like Malegaon ka Superman and Gabbarbhai MBBS in front of a global audience.
Made with budgets that won’t even meet the make up man’s fees of a leading Hindi film star – for example, Malegaon Ka Superman has been made, with “special effects” and all, with Rs one lakh, almost double of what is spent usually by the Malegaon’s passionate bunch of filmmakers.
Sheikh Nasir, director of Malegaon Ka Superman and also the person who started the movement some years ago by making Malegaon Ke Sholay, is naturally ecstatic.
“What we have been doing is just realising our passion for cinema in our own limited way. We never even dreamt that we would get such a huge platform to show our films,” Nasir, who was in Delhi to attend the 11th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival, told Deccan Herald.
Not surprisingly, Supermen of Malegaon, a documentary by Faiza Ahmad Khan on the “film industry” of Malegaon, was the biggest hit at this year’s Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival, so much so that finally the organisers ended up having four screenings as against the originally-planned one.
Mind you, these are not straightforward parodies of the original films, but come with references to relevant issues. For example, in Malegaon Ka Superman, the protagonist has all kinds of diseases, including Asthma, as he has to fly through air that is heavily polluted.
But then, he also has the advantage of flying to the top of the mobile phone tower when his cell phone signal is weak!
Having for the first time taking on Hollywood through his latest film, after spoofing Bollywood, Nasir and his group, some of whom have dreams of working in “real cinema” of Mumbai, are already planning Malegaon Ka Spider Man, where the protagonist will be a man who is extremely fat thanks to drinking too much milk.
So, even as the “real cinema” will be under the spotlight at the IFFI, Nasir and his bunch will show to the world what passion for cinema in India really means.