afaqs!

Street plays focus on honour killing to promote film

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 08, 2011
The producers of the yet to be released low budget film, Land Gold Women, are using street plays and corporate screenings for promotion.

With the larger objective of creating awareness about honour killing, the makers of Land Gold Women have opted for an innovative way to promote the film, which is due to be released later this month.

Land Gold Women revolves around a British Asian-Muslim family caught between their traditional past and the tumultuous, faction-driven present. This Anglo-Indian collaboration highlights the evil of honour crime, which is rampantly practiced across the globe.

Avantika Hari Agrawal, writer and director of Land Gold Women, and Vivek B Agrawal, its producer, are creating a buzz about the film through 50 street plays across Mumbai, and organising screenings of the movie across several colleges in the city.

The street plays, enacted by the theatre group Rang Sutra reflect the message that there is nothing 'honourable' about honour killing. So far, Rang Sutra has organised 14 eight-minute street plays across National College, MMK College, Globus Theatre and Candies in Bandra, and Marine Drive, Fun Republic Theatre (Andheri) and Oberoi Mall (Goregaon).

More street plays will be carried out at Fun Republic (Andheri), Fame (Andheri), Malad and Kandivali, R Mall (Mulund) and Ghatkopar, Oberoi Mall (Goregaon), Phoenix Mills in Lower Parel, Sterling Theatre, and other locations near colleges.

Talking about choosing street plays to promote the film, Avantika says, "It is the best way to communicate with the common people as it is a very powerful medium. Also, since the film does not have any big star or known people to boast about, these screenings and street plays will give us an exposure. If we had put it out in the theatres directly, it would have bombed at the box office."

About 10 actors of Rang Sutra go to at least three locations each day during weekends or holidays, when the footfalls are at a peak, and carry out the play. At the end of the play, the actors hand out postcards to the audience, which contain various trivia about honour killing, such as the number of deaths due to honour killing and the views on honour killing. The crew aims to reach 20,000 people in Mumbai through the plays and the film. Till now, more than 3,000 such postcards have been given to the audience.

The crew of the film has interacted with more than 10,000 students across 15 colleges to sensitise those in the age group of 18-25 years, who form the largest chunk of the population of victims of this social ill. Screenings of the film are being hosted at popular art and cultural centres across the city, and in the next phase, the crew targets corporate screening.

It also initiated a short film competition around the theme of honour killing to raise awareness about the issue and give students a first-hand exposure into the complexities surrounding the crime.

Apart from the students, the film is also targeted at the common man, and to reach to that section of the society, street plays are being organised at places such as Marine Drive, outside cinema halls and other places frequented by the target group.

The next screening of the film is scheduled at Blue Frog on November 10 and Good Earth, Lower Parel. At Good Earth, the film will be shown to a group of 50-60 members of the independent film group, Indian Independent Filmmakers Worldwide (IIFW), sometime in mid-November.

One week before the launch of the film, the company will take the ATL (above the line) route and launch trailers on television, apart from radio and print presence.

Land Gold Women has tied up with Junglee Home Videos, a Times Group venture, for the DVD release of the film.

The marketing promotion of the film is being handled by Luminosity Pictures, which had also handled the promotional activities of I am Kalam.

The film has also received several accolades including Best Feature Film in English at National Film Awards India, 2010, as well as 14 nominations at global film festivals.

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