In the list of Pahari Cinema, Himachal is yet to see it’s first feature film to be released in cinema halls but Uttarakhand has achieved this success many years back. After years of struggle, the state of Uttarakhand finally engraved his name when first Garhwali feature film ‘JAGWAL’ produced & directed by Prashar Gaur released on May 4th 1983 at Mavalankar hall in Delhi.
Jagwal was a project of Prashar Gaur who has spent a huge portion of his life in promoting Garhwali culture. Even though it took a lot of struggle as he conceived the idea of making a film in 1975. It took almost 7 years to introduce his first feature film. During this period Mr. Gaur went through a bad phase of life. He was being humiliated by his colleagues and friends in sarcastic ways. He has been cheated by his promoters who were with him in the project. One of the promoters ran away with the heroine of the film.
He decided to disregard the banner as well as the promoters too and started a new banner under the name of “ANCHALIK FILMS”. Facing problems and hardships he finally come out with flying colors and released the first Garhwali Film.
The film does not attempt to influence the viewers with the gross poverty of the hills. It does not raise any inherent impact. The main strength of the film lies in the way it captures the innocence of the hill people.
“Jagwal” means wait, is a sentimental tale of a young woman Indu. At her wedding the bridegrooms’s youngest brother who is a dumb, is involved in a quarrel with priest. The bridegroom Biru intervenes. In the process the priest accidentally received fatal injuries. On the wedding night the police arrest the bridegroom and imprisoned him for 10 years. Biru Advises his wife not to wait for him, but get married with his younger brother Sheru. But she chose to wait. After facing hardship she finally appears glory and the “Jagwal”(wait) ends on a happy note when she meets her husband again. Mr. Gaur’s long experience with the theatre helped him to bring together the best talents available on the Garhwali stage. Film was made in record time of 28 days and passed by censor board in just 24 hours, the film was first screened in a non-commercial hall at the Mavlankarn hall in Delhi.
This film attracted a large number of people from and around the neighborhood of the capital with several travelling all the way from places as Sharanpur, Meerut and Modi Nagar. The response was fabulous. It appeared that the entire Garhwali population had dipped on the theatre. That’s how Mr. Gaur set a benchmark for all the Garhwali community.
After “Jagwal”, there are so many filmmakers stepped ahead and made film like Kabhi Suk-Kabhi Dukh (Produced by Bindesh Nautiyal), Ghar-Jawain (by Nautiyal), Kauthik (by Sheel Chaudhary), Udnkar (Mrs. Bisht), Pyaru Rumal (Dubbed from “Kusmo Rumal” Nepali film), Samlaon, Phulee, Madhulee, Bantwaroo, Jeetu Bagdwal, Chakar Chal, Chwati Bwari. In Kumaoni, only a film has been released “Megha Aa”( By Jeevan Bisht).
In today’s time Garhwali Cinema has lost his designation. There are no facilities of cinema hall. There are few multiplexes in the town, which follows the Bollywood films. They do not have the facility to release the regional feature films. Local Filmmakers are not coming with any new films and ideas as they do not get any apprehensive platform. Few filmmakers still make their film just because they have a political support and strong financial condition. It’s the truth and sad that Garhwali cinema is lost somewhere in the midst. Filmmakers like Prashar Gaur worked tremendously to up bring the Hill State Cinema but its actually lost his vows.