“Mango Dreams”, an English language Indian film which delves into how the India-Pakistan partition affects a person’s life, received a positive response at the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, says actor Pankaj Tripathi who features in a key role in the film.
The film was screened earlier this week at the film festival, and Pankaj feels it’s a pertinent tale to tell especially during times when India and Pakistan are having strained bilateral ties.
“‘Mango Dreams’ is about India and Pakistan. It shows how people’s lives got destroyed because of the partition. It received an excellent response during its screening at the MAMI Film Festival,” Pankaj, who attended the film’s screening on Tuesday night, told IANS.
Directed by John Upchurch, the story of the film, set in today’s times, follows a Partition survivor and a doctor named Amit (theatre veteran Ram Gopal Bajaj), who is suffering from dementia and fears that memories closest to him will fade away sooner or later. He decides to go on a road trip from Ahmedabad to the Pakistan border before dementia overpowers him completely.
Joining him in the journey is Salim (Pankaj) — a Muslim character — who has a back story about losing his wife in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Pankaj says he was very hesitant about the film as Upchurch is not a filmmaker.
“He is a software engineer. Even though I was a part of the making, I still cried after watching the film,” Pankaj said.
Pankaj feels that the film is “very relevant” in current times when relations between India and Pakistan are turning bitter.
“The audience took the film positively. It was beyond my expectations. ‘Mango Dreams’ is a very low budget film. Upchurch bought a film camera through his savings in the US and made a few documentaries there. Then he came to India and presented this script to us,” Pankaj said.
“He even sold the camera for the post production of the film. We shot the film from Ahmedabad to Attari border. It was a guerrilla shoot. We were shooting without permission as we didn’t have that much budget,” he added.
“Mango Dreams”, which also features Samir Kochhar, received the Humanity Award at the Cebu International Film Festival in the Philippines earlier this year.