Chatting up Amogh Dhamankar, director, Barakhadi Entertainment about facilitating the screening and staging of Marathi films and dramas in United Kingdom
The popular comedy show, Chala Hawa Yeu Dya, with all its Thukratwadi residents, will be making its next pit stop in United Kingdom (UK), regaling the Marathi expats settled there. This event is courtesy Barakhadi Entertainment, United Kingdom, initiated by Amogh Dhamankar and Gandhar Babare.
Dhamankar, who works as a business consultant in IT industry, and Babare who is a part of the automotive industry, wanted to showcase the best of Marathi entertainment — plays, music, movies, tele serials — amongst the Marathi community living in the United Kingdom.
Dhamankar and Babare ventured out with the showcasing of Marathi movie Ekk Albela in 25 locations in UK. “While the Marathi mandals do their bit, the cultural diaspora does not have a commercial forum to portray its talent in the UK. Thus we decided to set up Barakhadi Entertainment in February 2016. Our beginning was with the commercial release of the film, Ekk Albela. Little did we realise that we were actually making history as Ekk Albela is now recognised as the first commercially released Marathi film in the UK with a valid ‘British Film Certification Board certificate’,” said Dhamankar, who has studied in Symbiosis institute.
Buoyed by its success, Barakhadi went on to host Lai Barache in November 2016 in collaboration with Viju Mane Production Ltd. “We hosted four shows for the programme. Established performers like Kushal Badrike, Bhau Kadam, Mangesh Desai, Santosh Juvekar and Viju Mane, were a part of the programme,” added Dhamankar.
This was followed by the London shoot of Mane’s slapstick comedy show, Struggler Sala. This set the stage for hosting a show of Chala Hawa Yeu Dya in London on November 12 at the prestigious Troxy Theatre.
When asked about the promotion of the shows, Dhamankar said they are handling it. “Our social media handles (FB WhatsApp Groups) Associated Local Marathi Mandals and Forums (Slough/Ilford/EMMA/HGM/ Croydon Marathi Circle), bus advertising, and word-of-mouth work for us,” he says. Besides, Barakhadi Entertainment has also tied up with local sponsors like Wrapchic/ Rotimatic/Nakshi.com.
Content is the parameter they consider when they facilitate Marathi plays, serials and cinema to be screened and staged in the UK. “We want to ensure that the UK audience can explore and experience all art forms — folk, commercial, standups. Star cast is another parameter. This ensures we can do the film premiere with stars in London,” he adds.
Next up, the duo are looking at bringing some of the Marathi plays to UK, besides the commercial and digital release of films. “We want to venture into Natya Spardha to encourage and provide stage for local UK talent and also local Marathi Mandals to bring good dramas,” explains Dhamankar.
At present, there is no membership for Barakhadi. “We want to be inclusive towards the creative cause with final decision resting with Gandhar and I. We have Barakhadi Facebook and Barakhadi Fan Club WhatsApp group and people who want to join can use firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with us,” he adds.