Marathi drama vying for top prize at film…

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Indian actress Usha Jadhav’s Marathi film Mai Ghat: Crime No 103/2005, and Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Malayalam film Jallikattu are competing against 13 international films for the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the 50th Indian International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that kicks off in Goa on November 20.

Usha, who won the best actress National Award a few years back for her Marathi film Dhag, is excited over the news. “I am extremely happy Mai Ghat: Crime No. 103/2005 is competing for the Golden Peacock Award. It gives me immense satisfaction that our hard work is being appreciated,” the actress told City Times over the phone.

Marathi movies have been drawing a large number of fans lately, particularly after the tremendous success of director Nagraj Manjule’s romantic drama Sairat. The film went on to become the most successful film ever in the history of Marathi cinema and went down well with even non-Maharashtrian moviegoers.

Award-winning director Ananth Mahadevan’s movie Ghat: Crime No. 103/2005 is inspired by the story of a Malayalee woman whose only son was tortured and killed by the police. The story is based on Prabhavati Amma’s 13-year-long fight for justice, after her son Udayakumar died in custody in 2005. Two cops were eventually found guilty, and in a first-of-its-kind verdict, both were sentenced death by the Kerala High Court.

Usha has worked extensively in Bollywood and Marathi cinema. She is known to portray powerful characters on screen, particularly in movies that deal with women’s empowerment. One can see streaks of Smita Patil or a Seema Biswas in her.

“I like to take on intense and soul-stirring scripts with social messages, and those that deal with women’s empowerment. If I can make a small difference in empowering women through my films, then I want to do it,” said Usha, who also won the best actress award at South Asian Film Festival, held in New York on Sunday.

Talking about the challenges of playing her character in Ghat: Crime No. 103/2005, Usha said. “For the first time, I am playing a real-life character on screen. I am playing an older person. It was a challenging role to play. But we all are very happy that people are loving our film.” Currently, Usha is working on the Spanish film, Mirada de Vidrio by Alejandro Cortés. Mai Ghat: Crime No. 103/2005 is set for release on January 2020. – sandhya@khaleejtimes.com

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