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'SHWAAS' team meets Asutosh Gowarikar
By Manisha Deshpande
Director Sandeep Sawant and the producers of SHWAAS, the national award-winning film that has been officially selected as India's entry for the Oscars, had a meeting with Ashutosh Gowarikar to plan the awareness campaign for the film preceding its Oscar committee screening.
"We have been trying to take tips from Gowarikar and Aamir Khan to build up the marketing campaign about the film. The two had done a tremendous amount of groundwork for LAGAAN with great success and we were seeking their advice," Sawant revealed.
The ambitious director is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the film makes its mark on the international circuit. One of the strategies is networking with the Maharashtrian people staying abroad, who are eagerly extending their support towards the mission. "As per the rules of the Academy awards, you cannot directly campaign or use sponsors, banners and logo for building up the awareness about the film. On our part, we are trying to ensure that the maximum number of people see the film. There's a big Maharashtrian crowd in the U.S. whom we are trying to tap to get across the film to the American crowd," Sawant says.
The major obstacle however is the paucity of funds required for such a massive exercise, for which they had even sought public support. "Some time back we had appealed to the general public to contribute towards the resources required for the hi-profile campaign and we got an excellent response," Sawant says.
Sawant has also appealed to the Maharashtra Government to grant funds for the campaign, in addition to seeking corporate support. "We have also appealed to the State Government for funds because the film is the official entry for the Oscars and it is an important development for Maharashtra. As for the corporates, they have come out in full strength to extend their support," adds Sawant.
The three official screening for the 2000-strong Oscar committee members will take place on January 25 and Sawant is hoping that good luck will prevail for him once again. "We never made the film with an intention to restrict it only to Maharashtra. Our vision was for it to be seen by the national and international audiences. I guess that dream is coming true now," he quips.