Melwood Screening Room: May 13 @ 1:00 PM
Regent Square Theater: May 19 @ 4:30 PM
Passes not accepted on Opening/Closing Night. Please arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of start time to ensure availability of seating. Film schedule and Q & A's are subject to change.
2010/India/Director: Sujay Dahake/105 min.
Cast: Dilip Prabhavalkar, Santosh Juvekar, Jitendra Joshi, Devika Daftardar (Language: Marathi with English subtitles)
Festivals and Awards: New York India Film Festival
Based on the Marathi novel of the same name, written by Milind Bokil, “Shala” is a charming film about a group of boys navigating the challenges of the 9th grade and their first encounters with puppy love.
Mukund Joshi (aka “Joshi”) is the character through which we meet the group of boyhood friends: Surya (the girl crazy one), Chitre (the brain), and Favdya (the goof). They spend their time in a secret room that overlooks the main road to their school. From afar, in this hiding place, they tease and call out to the girls they adore, and copy each other’s homework. It is the place where they can discuss all of the important matters that consume a pre-teen boy’s life.
The film is set against the backdrop of the 1970’s Indian Emergency. Director Sujay Dahake draws the viewer into his or her own memories of adolescence and what it feels like trying to make sense of events occurring in the larger world at a tender age.
The turbulent political climate of India seems far removed from the rambunctious foursome but the effects of major happenings in the country trickle down to the unassuming bunch. While Joshi woos a pretty classmate named Shirodkar and Surya struggles to pass math class, members of their community are imprisoned for their anti-government sympathies and close friends move away with their families in hopes for better opportunities.
“Shala” is a welcome romp back to the days of adolescence through the wisdom of adult eyes.