Praveen Morchhale’s Barefoot to Goa is a road movie with a twist. Two siblings decide to travel to a small village in Goa and meet their ailing grandmother, without the knowledge of their parents who live in a modest house in Mumbai. The film grapples with the issue of children abandoning their aged parents, and does so without any judgement, leaving the audience to draw its own inferences from the movie. Like Morchhale himself says, “The audiences are way more intelligent than the filmmaker. A lot of us may try to out-smart them, but it rarely ever works.”
Morchhale started work on the movie two years ago. “I had several ideas, five to six scripts were already written and ready. At the time, I was travelling quite a bit and I saw that there’s a problem when it comes to the older citizens of this country, which is a serious social concern and needs to be looked into immediately. But I didn’t want to make a preachy film, I wanted it to be emotional but not by emotionally exploiting the audience. I wanted the audience to come to their own conclusion when it came to the movie,” he says.
Next, he’s working on a feature film that’ll tackle the Kashmir issue. “But the movie won’t speak about violence or any particular political issue. The pain of war and conflict will be portrayed through the eyes of one small family,” he says.
Morchhale is a self-taught filmmaker, having had no film school experience, neither has he assisted a director before making this movie. “Cinema is about just telling a story. Anybody can make cinema, as long as you have a story to tell and know how you’re going to say it. The rest of the work is all technical and secondary. So if you want to make a movie, write your script and just find a friend who knows how to wield a camera and go ahead and make the movie,” he advices young filmmakers.
For Morchhale, the last couple of days at BIFFES have been wonderful. “I think the audience is very intelligent, and very appreciative. I hope the same trend goes to commercial films, because the audience finally wants to watch better films. It’s amazing to see the kind of understanding of cinema everyone has over here,” he gushes.
His favourite film at BIFFES so far has been the Iranian film Hush... Girls Don’t Scream. “It’s a movie on child abuse and it has been made sensitively and is sure to touch everyone,” he says.