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My Own Private Bollywood - Al Jazeera Correspondent


Gautam Singh grew up in a remote village in the Indian state of Jharkhand. He was fascinated by the art of movies and wanted to become a filmmaker ever since a travelling cinema group passed through his isolated village when he was 10 years old.

The nearest movie theatre was 50km away from his village and there were no buses around, so Singh would skip school and walk almost a day to watch a film and then come back.

Like every aspiring Indian filmmaker before him, he eventually moved to Mumbai to try to make a name for himself. After sleeping in cramped rooms with seven other people and getting small gigs as a video editor, he finally decided that documentary filmmaking was his preferred style of storytelling.

However, the people of his village didn't really consider documentary films to be "real films" because they were not run on the big screens. So after years of making documentaries, Singh decided to make a Bollywood-style movie that the people of his village would be able to see and be proud of.

The story he picked for his Bollywood film "Gaon" which means "The Village," is one extremely close to his heart - a tale of the village he grew up in and its transformation.

My Own Private Bollywood traces one filmmaker's passionate dream to make a Bollywood movie that will be loved and accepted by the people from his home village of Asarhia.

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