The rise of Punjabi cinema continues with newly released film Yaara Ve, which has a star cast including Gagan Kokri and Monica Gill.
The 1947 Punjab-set drama revolves around the bond between three inseparable friends just before the onset of India-Pakistan partition.
Rakesh Mehta has written and directed the Punjabi musical, which has a range of emotions.
Eastern Eye caught up with the talented filmmaker to talk about cinema and Yaara Ve.
What first connected you to cinema?
Cinema has been a big passion since my childhood. I remember the first time I saw The Godfather and got so fascinated by its screenplay, and every character of the film. This was my first connection with cinema and that bond has grown stronger with every passing year since then.
Tell us, how do you look back on your journey as a filmmaker?
I am quite satisfied with the journey so far, considering I don’t have any background here in the industry, but I am choosing to look ahead and my focus right now is on Yaara Ve.
What led you towards Yaara Ve?
It all started with the stories I heard from my grandparents about the partition that took place in 1947 and how it changed millions of relationships, including those that were intact and free from any religious disagreements since ages. From there, the story of three friends evolved.
Tell us about the film?
This film talks about the close friendship among three individuals who were living in great harmony prior to the partition and how it eventually affected them.
Who are you hoping connects to this film?
It is ultimately for everyone who believes in humanity.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
I think it was to create a period of 1947 without compromising the wide-angle shots and still making it look convincing.
What is your favourite moment in the movie?
There is a scene where a young boy brings a bicycle and then how this simple mode of transport creates ripples within the village.
What are your future hopes for the fast-growing Punjabi film industry?
I see a great future with a lot of young talent emerging with fresh perspectives. The industry will continue to grow, so the future is very bright.
What kind of movies do you enjoy watching?
I just enjoy anything logical and cinematic.
Why do you love cinema?
I love how cinema can convert fascinating tales into something engaging, entertaining and enthralling onto celluloid for everyone to appreciate.
Why should we watch Yaara Ve?
It’ll take the audience back in the era of true friendship and harmony. It will take you in the world of true friendship and sacrifices.
Yaara Ve is in cinemas now