Director Sushrut Jain talks to SANGEETA YADAV about his aspirational documentary film on cricket titled Beyond All Boundaries that features three most inspiring fan stories from India
Remember the time when India lifted the World Cup in 2011 after 28 long years? The entire country took to the roads to celebrate this momentus victory. There were people congratualting one another, some were bursting crackers while others were roaming around the streets with the India flag. It was an emotional victory for everyone.
To showcase this cricket fervour in India in great detail, director Sushrut Jain recently released his cricket documentary film— Beyond All Boundaries. The ‘simple’ film, according to Jain peeps into the life of three most inspiring cricket fans in India.
“One of the three stories in the documentary is about 30-year-old Sudhir Kumar. Before every match that India features in, Kumar goes through an entire body paint of the tricolour. He has been cycling across the length and breadth of the country to watch these matches,” Jain says.
The other two stories which form the crux of the documentary are that of Akshaya Surve and Prithvi Shaw. “Akshaya used to fight against all odds to pursue her dreams. 12-year-old Prithvi is another fan who is also a talented player and gets a lot of support from his unemployed father,” Jain tells you from Mumbai.
He says there were other inspiring stories that didn’t make it to the film because of certain reasons. A Muslim girl who comes to play cricket in burka and aspires to play for India being one such heart-touching fan story that Jain wanted to relate in his documentary.
Acclaimed actor Kunal Nayyar who is popular for his character, Rajesh Koothrapally in The Big Bang Theory came on board as the narrator of the film. “Kunal was very impressed after watching the trailer of this film and without any delay gave a nod for this project and helped in raising funds for this as well,” Jain states.
The film that has been recently released in the theaters across India was officially screened at the Dallas International Film Festival on April 2013.
Beyond All Boundaries won the audience and jury awards for Best Documen-tary Feature at Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA).
Jain is a self-made man who struggled to raise funds for making this documentary a reality. But that was a challenge he was willing to accept.
“It’s such an irony that this film which revolves around cricket in India, didn’t get a single donor from India. A lot of foreigners and NRIs stepped forward to fund this film. The concept of fund raising in india has not been kickstarted. But it should be introduced in this market very soon,” the director says.
As a filmmaker, Jain works on a simple principle — he aims to capture the true picture of India and tell inspiring but never been told stories from every nook and corner of this country. His style of films is similar to that of Satyajit Ray, Guru Dutt and Shyam Benegal to name a few.
“I prefer to be honest and meaningful with my storytelling. When I made my first short film Andheri, it did well in various International film festivals. My style of filmmaking is very different but at the same time it is very simple and understated. I want people to see what the true India is like. It is not just about the slum areas and the abject poverty that we get to see in the country. It is also about those people who live a life full of struggles and yet have a smile on their faces.
“There are many real-life heroes and heroines in India and my aim is to give them a platform to shine,” Jain says.
He is happy that big names like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Sachin Tendelukar and many other cricketers have been associated with this film.