Highlighting the national passion for cricket, LA-based filmmaker Sushrut Jain’s 90-minute documentary Beyond All Boundaries focuses on three real life stories of cricket lovers and fanatics who gave up everything to pursue their dreams. The film that has already been a part of the Dallas Film Festival and the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles will be screened at the MAMI film festival this year. Woven through the tale of India’s progress in the 2011 World Cup are three separate story arcs that speak of the roles cricket can play in the lives of ordinary Indians. And if the premise of the film sounds interesting, the making of the film also makes for an equally interesting tale. Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh Koothrappali of The Big Bang Theory) has not only done the voice over, but has also lent support towards the post-production of the movie.
Stories to tell Among it’s three protagonists is Sudhir Kumar Gautam, India’s most recognisable fan who paints his torso and face in the colours of the Indian tricolour along with Sachin Tendulkar’s name. It also follows the lives of Prithvi Shaw, a 12-year-old batting prodigy, and Akshaya Surve, an 18-year-old girl trying out for the Mumbai Under-19 team. Speaking about choosing the stories Sushrut says, “It was fairly easy to pick Sudhir’s story. But we wanted to check if he was a true fan or was he doing it to get fame. Once we found out about his passion for the game, I knew this was a great story. To choose the other two stories we visited various cricket camps and spoke to cricket coaches in various cities. After going through various stories, we decided to pick Akshaya and Pritvi’s stories because they were about the aspirations that many people have.”
The Kunal factor Sushrut got Kunal’s email address from a friend and sent a mail to the actor along with some scenes of the movie. The actor not only did the voice over, but also helped raise funds for the post-production of the film. “After shooting the movie in India, I ran out of money.
When I came back here I thought about crowd funding. At the same time I got in touch with Kunal and he decided to support the movie.”
Cricket and Bollywood The director feels that one of the reasons that Bollywood has had few films on cricket is because it’s already a much-in-focus topic. He says, “Though there are many interesting stories to tell, I think, cricket seems like something that everyone is talking about anyway. But when you are far away from India, this seems to be one of those things that you will find stands out the most. It would give people in other countries another perceptive about India. At the same time, people in India will like to see the movie because it’s all about achieving your dreams.”
Desi movies Sushrut who has followed Bollywood loosely says he loved 3 Idiots and Dhobi Ghat, and is all praise for the kind of movies that Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao make. He adds, “My movies may not have songs and dances, but I want to make interesting movies.”