Indo-Fijian film Sahara draws applause from local community

manju mittal - sahara








By Manju Mittal

”˜Sahara’, an Indo-Fijian film based on indian Fijian farmers who were evicted out of their farms after the coup and their struggle to survive, was screened at Casula Powerhouse Art Centre on long weekend Saturday October 3, 2015. It has been produced and directed by a local Fiji ”“ Indian film maker Dr. Satish Rai. The film won Satish two awards in San Jose, USA at the Festival of Globe (FOG) Film awards as the Best Producer award and also Award for Excellence.

This was my first time watching a Fiji-Indian movie. It is an educational film and an entertainer with a soul that touches the viewer leaving a strong impact on issues such as struggle by the Indian farmers and also rampant prostitution and exploitation of young Indian girls from Indian families who were made practically homeless when they lost leases on their farms where they lived and toiled for more than century having been brought as bonded labour from India to work on sugarcane plantations.

The hall was full and the audience responded to the film with strong applause. The film will surely strike a chord and connect with those who have been through this struggle and also others. It is an excellent and flawless film with director Satish Rai who acted as well in the lead role along with leading Fijian actress and model Zara Begg. Begg has acted brilliantly.

satish rai - Joe Zara

”˜Sahara’ was filmed in Fiji about an Indian family that was evicted from their home some 10 years ago and how they tried to cope with poverty. It also tells the story of friendship, racial harmony and touches some political issues in this educational social drama with unusual love angle.

Liverpool based Satish Rai says, “Its a compelling Fijian story that touches issues such a poverty, sex trade, life on squatter settlements, aspirations of our local people struggling to survive and also depicts people from our own Fijian diaspora who come and exploit their own people.”

The movie also features local actors Vijay Jogia and Kishore Chetty. I caught up with the co-producer of the film Anju during the screening, when she said preproduction of Sahara started in February and filming was done in straight two weeks. It was shot in various locations in Fiji, including existing settlements. Editing and postproduction was done in Sydney.

We highly recommend everyone to watch this film as it is quite a mature and an excellent effort by a local film maker as well as actors.

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