Ivan Nigli, former MLA of Karnataka, was 16 years old when he collapsed on his way back home due to chest congestion. A nurse helped him reach the nearest hospital where he was kept under observation for possible tuberculosis infection. Since then, Nigli has wanted to do something to acknowledge the nursing community for their selfless service to society but did not have enough resources.
Fast forward to 2022 and Nigli turns producer to share his gratitude. Titled September 13, an upcoming Kannada movie directed by renowned filmmaker Dr Rajah Balakrishnan, highlights the journey of the nursing community from college life to risking their lives during the pandemic.
While the world has lost many dedicated nurses due to the pandemic, their work goes unnoticed, feels Nigli. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the nursing community which has played a vital role in overcoming the deadly virus. Now that I have the means to talk about their challenges, this movie is dedicated to the unconditional service by the community,” says Nigli, who instituted the Florence Nightingale Awards to recognise excellence in Nursing Services in Karnataka.
The movie, set in a village in Karnataka, showcases the story of Nitya, who graduated from nursing college during the pandemic. The cast also includes veteran actors like Vinaya Prasad, Jai Jagadish, and Yamuna Srinidhi. It also features former minister UT Khader playing the role of the village MLA. “The film covers various themes like loss, love, sibling relationship, friendship, and the importance of brotherhood in society,” says Nigli, adding that the pandemic has taught one to not take people for granted. “To know the story behind the movie’s title, one should watch it,” he says.
Psychology honours student, Sreyaridhiban makes her debut in the film industry with her role as the female protagonist. The making of September 13 was an emotional journey, she says. “When I was playing the role of Nitya, I could feel the pain and emotions of those who lost their loved ones during the pandemic. It is a struggle to helplessly watch your dear one breathe their last right in front of you,” she says.
Releasing in the last week of June (date yet to be announced), September 13 will be screened across theatres in India.