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Couldn't relate to any aspect of my character in Godavari, says Jitendra Joshi

Godavari, helmed by Nikhil Mahajan, has been shortlisted for the 20th Pune International Film Festival's Marathi Competition section.

Suyog Zore

The Jitendra Joshi-starrer Godavari (2022) is among the more awaited Marathi films of the year. After winning two awards at the 52nd International Film Festival of India last year, this melancholic drama helmed by Nikhil Mahajan has been shortlisted for the 20th Pune International Film Festival's Marathi Competition section. The film will go up against five others for the Sant Tukaram Best International Marathi Film award.

"This is a story of a man who, for some reason, is angry with his family, friends, relatives, his Nashik city and the Godavari river," Joshi told Cinestaan.com. "You will get to know the reason for his bitterness once you watch the film. So this film tells a story of how a resentful man who has lost interest in life slowly finds a purpose in life."

This is also a character that is very different from Joshi's real self. "Generally when we play any character, there is at least something in that character that we can relate with, even if we might not completely understand or support his actions," the actor said. "But that was not the case with this film. Very rarely do we get to play a character that we have nothing in common with. I could not relate to even a single aspect of this person. Still I had to play [the character] with such sincerity that I understand everything he is going through."

Came up with Godavari's story after making Pune 52: Nikhil Mahajan

Godavari is also special for Joshi because it is his first film as producer. However, the move to production wasn't planned; it simply emerged from a crisis. “I was not supposed to produce this film," Joshi said. "I had never thought of becoming a producer. But I guess sometimes god has other plans.

"Everything was ready and we were about to begin our shoot. Suddenly our producer backed out at the last moment. Everything was ready. We had also got the dates of all the actors, so we didn't know what to do and how to find another producer in such short time.

"It was right in the middle of the pandemic, so it was also a difficult time for everyone. So I thought instead of requesting others to risk their hard-earned money, why don't I just put my money instead? And that's how I came on board as a producer.”

Godavari also stars Vikram Gokhale, Sanjay Mone, Gauri Nalawade, Priyadarshan Jadhav and Sakhee Gokhale.

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Pune International Film Festival IFFI