Jyothi Venkatesh; Mid Day; Mumbai
Priyesh Jain (aged 33) did not let blindness affect his vision. With the completion of his 45-minute film, 'Roshni', he has arguably become the first blind person to direct a film.
'Roshni', which stars Anant Mahadevan and Reeta Bhaduri, is a plea for global peace, for a world free from nuclear bombs. Jain bases the film on a one-act Hindi play, 'Umeed', which he scripted and directed. "Roshni is a tribute to my parents who never made me feel inferior because of my visual disability," says Jain.
National award-winning director Mahesh Chandra is the cinematographer of the film. Describing Jain's efforts, Chandra said,"Priyesh is very passionate about learning. It is touching to know a person who can't see has created something for the world to see."
The director is much influenced by Hindi cinema's all time classic 'Sholay', which he "saw" 15 times. "Sholay continues to shape the way I write my dialogues, create my characters and shape my scripts," he says.
However, Jain feels Indians don't care for disabled people. "No channel wants to show my film. I have even offered to raise funds for airing the film. Ideally, I'd like to show Roshni on August 6, when Hiroshima was bombed in 1945."
Besides film direction, Jain is writing a book on his experiences. He also runs a charitable trust, named 'Drishti', for visually impaired people.