The evening began with Nilu Phule Memorial Oration featuring writer, lyricist and actor Swanand Kirkire. On his request the lecture was converted into a chat where director of the festival Jabbar Patel and film critic Samar Nakhate held a conversation with Kirkire.
Speaking about his experiences as an actor in Marathi film Chumbak, Kirkire said it is actually a journey of a middle-aged man affected by autism and a 15-year-old boy. “Though I did watch Dustin Hoffman in Rainman, but there is no attempt to dwell upon autism in Chumbak,” he said about the film which received Sant Tukaram award at Pune Film Festival.
Terming music and acting as vehicles of expression, Kirkire said, “Sensitivity is essential for an artiste.” A graduate of National School of Drama, Kirkire said he carries all that he learnt there with him. “The institution polished my skills. It was here while watching Piyush Mishra write songs in a jiffy that I realized I could be a lyricist,” he said. “Writing is a play with words and there is a freedom that exists in it. That freedom lessens while writing lyrics as there is a meter to be adhered too. This freedom totally vanishes in acting as there a mask has to be put on which has to fit perfectly,” he said.
The chat was followed by another one with the directors of Hindi film Rakkhosh, Srivinay Sulian and Shivaji Lotan Patil, who directed Marathi film Bhonga. The two were in conversation with Patel and Nakhate. Speaking about Rakkhosh, which received a full house at its screening on Sunday, Sulian said, “The subject deals with schizophrenia and I spoke to many friends who said they suffered from guilt at not treating people suffering with such afflictions well.” The director of Bhonga said he hailed from Malegaon which is a Muslim dominated area and was goaded by many of his friends to make a film which revolved around loudspeakers set up on mosques and temples.
A nine-minute film edited by Ravikant Saotkar paid tributes to Sudhir Phadke, MG Madgulkar, PL Deshpande, Naushad, Allah Rakha and Snehal Bhatkar whose centenary year is being observed in 2018-2019.
In his closing remarks, Dr Chandrashekhar Meshram, organizing secretary of OCIFF, announced that the fourth edition of the three-day festival will be held from February 7, 2020.