New York Indian Film Festival 2017

May 7-12, 2018

Thursday May 10, 2018 @ 6.15 pm. Auditorium 3
Village East Cinemas, 2nd Ave @ 12th Street, NYC.

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North America Premiere
2017 | India | 93 mins | Konkani (with English subtitles)
Directed by - Miransha Naik
Cast - Rushikesh Naik, Sudesh Bhise, Prashanti Talpankar, Gauri Kamat, Gauri Kamat, Barkha Naik, Pranav Narote, Sarah Driver.

Post-Screening discussion with director Miransha Naik

Synopsis: Boribmol, a village in Goa with a large immigrant population, is ruled by an abusive, thuggish bully, Juze, known as the ‘Slum Landlord’. His appetite for violent intimidation keeps his immigrant workforce submissive, even when his roving eye extends to their women. Santosh, a 16 year old boy, is not intimidated. His determination to continue with his classes remains constant in spite of regular beatings from Juze. As events build to breaking point, Santosh’s passive resistance evolves into the determination to confront Juze and finally achieve freedom from fear.

Director’s Statement: Since my childhood, I’ve seen a ‘Juze’ in every village in Goa. These slum landlords abuse their power and exploit the defenceless and unprotected - immigrants often being the most vulnerable.

Originally a Portuguese colony, Goa has always been a rich and fertile state, which attracts immigrants from outside. Even before liberation in 1961, a large number of people from other states in India went there in search of jobs and the chance to make a living. Like immigrants everywhere, they took jobs that Goans wouldn’t do – mainly as casual labourers. Inevitably Goans - the locals - saw themselves as better educated and looked down on the new arrivals.

In my film, Santosh is a local, but with no family other than his ailing grandmother, he is vulnerable, unprotected and on the same level as an immigrant. He is the victim of exploitation, violent maltreatment, and is treated as an outsider by the other villagers. His passive resistance to these injustices provokes more aggression. Bruised and disillusioned, he reaches the point where until he can no longer take it.

Even today, you see a lot people, mostly immigrants, serving prison terms because they were pushed to a point where they took drastic action, even killing their oppressors.

Santosh is clever enough to understand that it is a question of what he has to kill and not who. His fear. And I wanted to show that no matter big and powerful these ‘Juzes’ are, they all eventually fall.

Such a tyrant existed in our village and I witnessed his rule and his fall and it was this memory that influenced my story.

Miransha Naik Director: Miransha Naik is a native of Goa and completed his filmmaking studies at Whistling Woods International, Mumbai, specialising in screenwriting. In 2012, he began working as a writer at Gitanjali Creations, a Mumbai-based production house before making short films under his own banner, Thin Air Productions. JUZE is his feature film debut. Naik cast the film using mostly non-professional actors from Goa; although Prashanti Talpankar who plays ‘Tai’ had previous experience while Rushikesh Naik (Santosh), Sudesh Bhise (Juze) and Ranav Narote (Abdul) were in a short film he made one year prior to JUZE. Otherwise, auditions were held all over Goa from which a short list was selected to participate in a workshop from which final cast were chosen for the respective roles.

  Trailer: Juze

New York Indian Film Festival
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