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I will direct a film if I get time, says Avadhoot Gupte at ‘Hero Sarpanch’ song launch

The filmmaker, who is also a prolific musician, has sung and composed the song.

Keyur Seta

Avadhoot Gupte composed and sung the Marathi song ‘Hero Sarpanch’, which he dedicated to Navnath Kakade, the president of the Maharashtra State Sarpanch Assembly. Adarsh Shinde is Gupte’s co-singer in the track. 

Asked why he had instantly agreed to do the song, Gupte told Cinestaan after the song’s launch, “The reason was my relationship with the village soil for many years. I have seen the work sarpanches [village head] do, the rounds they make to Mantralaya. But despite this, they have to face criticism. The work a sarpanch does is major.”

He said that the song doesn’t honour just one sarpanch. “It also honours the position. Every sarpanch keeps serving the people. So it’s necessary to honour them.” 

The song comes just over a month after Gupte released the rap song ‘Jaat’, an anti-caste anthem. “We can’t compare that single with this one. That song was my way of expressing my thoughts on caste. You can see what all is happening because of caste. This song is an assignment given to me. Like, yesterday I sang a song by Avinash-Vishwajeet for an organization. Similarly, if tomorrow Cinestaan assigns me a song, I will do it,” he said laughing.  

Gupte with Pravin Darekar, the leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, and Kakade

Apart from being a successful composer and singer, Gupte is also a filmmaker who has created hard-hitting films such as Zenda (2009) and Morya (2011). But he hasn’t directed a project for almost five years. "Artists have only 365 days in a year and 24 hours in a day. I can work only in the time available. You must have seen what all I have done [composed music in many films] in that time. If I decide to make a film, I will have to stop doing other things. I am eager to do it but a film is a big thing to do. If I get time, I will surely do,” he said.

Asked if it would be possible to make a hard-hitting political film like Zenda in today’s times, he said, “It is difficult to answer this question. I would like to do it again.”
Gupte expressed concern about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and said that the film industry was going through uncertain times. “A lot of single-screen theatres were forced to shut down. We don’t know what lies in store [for the industry],” he said. 

Theatres re-opened in Maharashtra in mid-November last year, but no major Marathi film has been released yet. Shedding light on the situation, the artiste said, “Some of our films are ready. But we have to wait till some studio comes and releases it. I feel around 50-60 Marathi films are ready for release right now. They will be able to release only when theatres re-open properly [100% occupancy].”  

The song ‘Hero Sarpanch’ was written by Kakade himself. “Most of the times, movies shows people like sarpanches and other politicians as negative characters and bad people. I wanted to show that there are good folks around too in this profession,” said Kakade after the song launch.