Indian cinema is full of talented people and artists, be it directors, actors, musicians, designers etc. The regional cinemas are nonetheless exceptionally talented and have produced world-class movies which are recognized globally and appreciated.
One such movie that is getting global recognition and awards across the globe is 1888. 1888 is a Kannada movie written and directed by self-taught filmmaker Sourabh Shukla. It is produced by Manju Raj, Sourabh Shukla and Lohith DA. The movie has a storyline where demonetization is the backdrop, and when three different people come face to face, a cat and mouse game begins. In the middle of all this is a car journey.
This is Sourabh’s debut movie, and the success of this film has given motivation to all those who are engaged in this, but this was not pre-planned or decided. Director Sourabh Shukla says, “This movie was just an experiment to present an interesting story in a very unique way to the audience. Though this is a mainstream movie it has a lot of new elements and is completely shot in Guerrilla style thus giving the film a different feel altogether. I’m pretty confident that this will be a unique cinematic experience for the Kannada audience and Indian audience, in general.”
The love and support that the movies has garnered in film festivals all across the world is mind-blowing, and it is indeed a moment of pride not just for Kannada Cinema but for Indian Cinema as well. In some of these festivals where we were selected and won, the jury members comprised of Oscar winners.
Some of the awards won by 1888 are:
- Winner of 8 awards at Milan Gold Awards, Italy
- Winner at Rameshwaram International Film Festival for Best Feature and Best Debut Filmmaker
- Finalist and Honorable mention at the prestigious London Movie Awards, London International Monthly Film Festival and Tokyo International Monthly Film Festival, as well
- Winner of 3 awards at Tagore International Film Festival, including Best Actress, Best Feature and Best Director
- Winner at Druk International Film Festival, Bhutan
- Winner of 4 awards at Golden Lion International Film Festival, including Best Cinematography and Best Editor
- Nominee at the prestigious Adolph Zukor International Film Festival, Hungary
- Won 6 awards at Virgin Spring Cinefest, including Best Soundtrack, Best Film, Best Actress and Best Director
- Critic’s Choice Award at Calcutta International Cult Film Festival
And the list goes on and on. 1888 in just a few months, seems to have made its mark in the film industry and continues to get appreciation from people and professionals across the world.
One thousand eight hundred eighty-eight stars award-winning actress Neethu Shetty, along with Adhvithi Shetty, Prathap Kumar, Manju Raj, Raghu Ramappa, Pradeep Doddaiah, Vikram Kumar and Bob Jaan. The cast has done a commendable job by ensuring their performances are realistic.
1888 is completely shot using the Guerrilla filmmaking technique. The movie took a lot of time to be shot, wherein the shoot went on for more than four years as the movie was shot without any production house backing it, and the makers were basically a group of three friends, all of them new to this field with zero experience. Sourabh and his team have literally worked day and night, virtually putting in their sweat and blood, considering that the action sequences were choreographed by the director and the movie’s lead actors themselves. During this journey, they learnt a lot, something that will stay for a lifetime, and their failures only helped them get the best version of the movie today.
Sourabh recalls the initial days and says, “Few big names in the movie industry loved the subject and whatever they saw in the movie, but were hesitant to back it except for our lead Neethu who despite being a well established actress believed in the infant team and supported us from the start. Later renown names like Adhvithi Shetty and Raghu Ramappa joined and supported us as well.”
Sourabh aims to make more interesting movies and web series in the future. He also has a keen interest in documentaries that focus on new and unconventional subjects. In the past, Sourabh has made a couple of short films and documentaries as well. That he is a film enthusiast and is extremely passionate about cinema is reflected in 1888, but the success of this movie has ensured that his passion has grown multifold.
When he was asked about his inspiration, he said, “My inspiration is the multi talented late actor- director Shankar Nag who made the cult serial Malgudi Days, the iconic movie Accident and he also won an award for his brilliant performance in Ondanondu Kaladalli. He was a visionary and someone who pioneered the Guerrilla film making style, which we employed completely for 1888.”
Taking inspiration from such a legendary icon and bringing out something like 1888 is a huge achievement.
Sourabh tries his best not to reveal much about the movie when questioned about the unusual title – 1888. However, what we do know is that the movie has multiple layers, and so does the title 1888.
2) IMDB: https://imdb.com/title/tt7777020/
3) 1888 first teaser: https://youtu.be/G40Ct159dco