Jeerjimbe finally ready to take flight
The award-winning film, which did the rounds at 23 international film festivals, is finally getting a commercial release this week
Even though director Karthik Saragur was ready with his first film Jeerjimbe in 2016, it is only getting released this year. The children’s film, which won state awards in 2017, was doing the rounds at 23 international festivals over the last two years, and now, finally, it will get a theatrical release this week. “We had a clause that the film should complete festival circuits before it has a regular release,” says Karthik, who tells us why he was particular about screening Jeerjimbe at various festivals. “Though the film was made in Kannada, and narrates the story of a rural girl from Karnataka, we wanted to understand just how universal the film is. Since this is a coming-of-age story that can be applied to any girl, we were keen to see how the global audience would accept our film. Thankfully, we got positive feedback at all the international festivals.”
Jeerjimbe is the story of an adolescent girl and her attachment to her bicycle, which has been provided to her by the government. “The story is applicable to any girl who dreams, faces challenges and overcomes difficulties. The cycle is the physical manifestation of the lifecycle of a girl,” says the director.
Talking about his inspiration for the film, he says, “There is a beautiful saying by Henry David Thoreau - 'It is only nature and women, who can survive any situation because both of them have the will.' Those words inspired me to make this film.”
Jeerjimbe, which means jewel beetle, also has a significance, he says. “As kids, we loved keeping these jewel beetles in our pencil boxes, and would tie a thread to its wings to make it fly. It is called jewel beetle because it has attractive wings. Just when it uncurls its wings to fly, their lives are cut short, and people then use these beetles as ornaments. My story follows a similar concept,” says the director, adding, “Wings are meant to fly. Similarly, children have the right to be free, and the right to dream and choose their destiny. But they face extreme situations and circumstances, which prevent them from achieving what they can.”
Except for Suman Nagarkar and a few more actors, this film mostly has children, who are all first-timers. “These kids have a theatre background, and we chose them from rural areas. My challenge was to capture their spontaneity while performing. Every scene was made to look authentic. This film was a great learning experience for me,” says Karthik.
Jeerjimbe is presented by Pushkar Mallikarjunaiah in association with Beehive Productions. “It is a crowdfunded film, which had 34 people investing in it. When we ran out of funds, it was Pushkar who came forward to complete and release it,” the director reveals.
Jeerjimbe will be releasing pan-India, and will hit 50 theatres in Karnataka.