Pan Nalin on Last Film Show: It is a story of inspiration, hope, valuing family, friends, cinema, storytellers, innocence and innovation Pan Nalin (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
By Murtuza Iqbal
Pan Nalin is known for his directorials like Samsara, Valley of Flowers, and Angry Indian Goddesses. He is now gearing up for his next movie, a Gujarati film titled Chhello Show (Last Film Show). The film opens the Tribeca Film Festival’s Spotlight section in June.
While talking about the movie, Nalin told PTI, “I wanted to tell a story about kids who grow up in the countryside and how they start innovating to create their own kind of cinema, storytelling. Nothing stops these kids. When you have nothing, nothing should stop you. It is a story of inspiration, hope, valuing family, friends, cinema, storytellers, innocence, and innovation. It has reconnected me with my roots.”
Set in a village in Gujarat named Saurashtra, Chhello Show revolves around a nine-year-old boy, who begins a lifelong love affair with cinema when he bribes his way into a rundown movie palace and spends a summer watching movies from the projection booth.
While talking about his film being the first Gujarati film to open the Spotlight section at Tribeca, the filmmaker said, “The festival team learned about our film and thought the theme resonated with their idea of the celebration of cinema. They (organisers) felt our film is an invitation to return to the cinema. When we were making the film, we didn’t realize that the world would go this way. The film celebrates the big-screen experience of going to cinema halls and watching a film with family and friends, which is irreplaceable.”
Well, it was nostalgic for Nalin to shoot for the film in real locations from villages to railways to schools. He said, “Everything seemed the same to me. Even though people have moved forward in life, the tradition and the culture are still preserved.”
Further revealing how he got interested in filmmaking, Nalin said, “I became interested in filmmaking and started writing films while I was in Ahmedabad. Then I came to Mumbai in 1992 and got work as a production runner, did a lot of ad films.”
“Since I didn’t know anyone in Bollywood it was difficult to penetrate, also because most of my stories were different from the usual Bollywood movies. I was happy making short films, traveled, pitched films and eventually, things fell in place,” he added.
Currently, the filmmaker is giving the finishing touches to Chello Show, which will be ready by the first week of May. While it will get a world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, the filmmaker is also looking forward to releasing it in India. He stated that even if the theatres don’t open, he will show the film to people on a projector in the village where he shot it.