The story revolves around Sitaram, a farmer like many other in central India, with less than limited means. Trying hard to meet ends and provide for his family the basics of life. The problem, repeatedly failing monsoon, the lifeline of Indian farmers, making his land yield nothing but weed despite him doing all he can. His family of 5, including his wife, two sons, and a daughter suffers along.
Sitaram's efforts to quench the thirst of his land leads him try and dig a well in his land. The hard sound of mattock hitting the dreadful black rock – Kalichaat – is nothing but a disaster as cracking Kalichaat and reaching water beneath will require means beyond his approach. But to match adversities with his will, he approaches the local bank specifically established to meet the needs of farmers, only to realize that getting help there is even complex than breaking Kalichaat.
In this state of despair, the showering water coming out of a tubewell drilling at his village makes him wonder why can't he have one at his land. A hope for him, perceived a gamble by many, including his wife. Again the seemingly never ending tryst authorities, loan sharks, and religious gurus, while keeping his family hopeful for a better future, begins. Pledging the very land he wanted water for, tubewell drilling starts. One after another, attempts fail, land shrinks and hopes die. What's left is a question on our conscience as a society and as a system, as to why we let the actual breadwinner die in pursuit of a better life.
Kalichaat, the impregnable rock, a film is inspired by the works of an NGO Vibhavari working in Dewas district since year 2000. It is an established non profit organization which has been working on water crises and farmers & landless workers’ rights for last two decades. The organisation is founded by Dr. Sunil Chaturvedi who is an active social worker and a profound writer. His acclaimed novel , Kalichaat is the foundation for this film and share the title with the same.
The screen play and dialogues are written by Dr. Sonal who is founder member of Vibhavari and the work to upift the social status of these farmers and other villagers has been the motto of her life. Sonal is a poetess at her heart and has published many heartfelt poems in her collection –‘Pata Nahi’.
As Dr. Sunil and Sonal had been working for around two decades with the people of this region, the story and dialogues has a clear appearance of the dialect and context of the region. The film depicts the actual scenario of rural india and the woes and troubles of Indian farmer and his family members.
Sudhanshu Sharma being the producer and director of the film kalichaat is an entrepreneur with a creative streak who has closely observed life at rural India while growing up. Different small towns and villages of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh inspired his journey with their rich culture and traditional values. He is a post graduate in Humanities and a pursuant research scholar in Philosophy.
A poet, writer and philosopher, Sudhanshu's work remained mostly for personal audience 'til now, partly due to his choice of keeping it that way and partly due to professional commitments. Nevertheless, his work as a poet and writer earned him rich accolades in various formal and informal literary circles of Madhya Pradesh. A formal collection of his short stories and poems is in print for unveiling in very near future.
Sudhanshu's professional responsibilities as an entrepreneur demanded him to conceptualize, write, produce, and provide creative guidance for close to 150 commercial productions, mostly for Indian television.
'Kalichaat' is his directorial debut for a feature length, depicting the life and journey of a poor farmer from Malwa-Nimar region of western Madhya Pradesh, the area which he closely relates to. Besides being Director of the creation, he also was an integral part of scripting, screenplay, and art direction team of 'Kalichaat.'
Sonal is a published and appreciated poet for her thought-provoking work specifically dedicated to women empowerment. Her subtle and short poems beautifully narrate the lives and struggles of Indian women. Kalichaat is her debut project as a Screenplay and Dialogue writer, yet the way she converted a short story into a simple and easy-flowing narration is commendable.
'Kalichaat,' the adapted title and the story itself, is borrowed from a short story of Dr. Sunil Chaturvedi's Novel by the same name. 'Kalichaat' is Dr. Chaturvedi's second novel after the critically-acclaimed 'Mahamaya,' which had won him many awards including the prestigious 'Vagheshwari' honor from Govt. of Madhya Pradesh. His detailed understanding of heritage and culture of Malwa region makes his writing richer in terms of content authenticity, even in a fictional work.
A very senior technician, Jaywant is part of Hindi and Marathi film industry for close to 35 years now. His work as Cameraman, Operative Cameraman, and DOP won him appreciation by industry stalwarts. Jaywant's experiments with sunlight, to bring out the dry aura of a drought-affected region in Kalichaat, are praiseworthy.
A music director, lyricist, and singer himself, Sanjeev is a well-known name in hindi film industry. His special interest in creating devotional music has made him create some soul-soothing divine compositions. His work in Kalichaat with region-specific singers and musicians, singing Kabir's couplets, is inspiring.
Kaluram Bamania is a celebrated regional folk singer, who is known for his Kabir-inspired singing. His singing is true to the soil of Malwa, while the appeal of Kabir's poetry in his songs is global.
A young man with an incredible vision for end product right after seeing the raw footage for first time. Jeetu's ability to foresee the desired outcome, which is almost always in sync with Directors' imagination, won him many laurels at this young age.
Rapidly rising on the industry ladder with their outstanding work as a team of two, Rudra learned sound engineering from Toronto Film School while Shankar learned it from industry bigwigs and has already done many films as sound editor and designer.
A theater artist for 22 years with about 100 plays to his credit, Prakash also appeared in Prakash Jha's Satyagrah. His area of interest expands to film making and his short film 'Mard' achieved him the 'Jury Award' at Rising International Short Film Festival 2015. He made Sitaram's character natural with his deep understanding of Malwi along with culture of Malwa-Nimar region.
A native of Indore, Geetika is a familiar face in theater circles of Central India. Besides being part of some major plays, she currently is spending most of her time acting in Television serials and hindi Films. Her ability to speak with facial expressions made her an immediate choice for Sitaram's wife in Kalichaat.
A theater artist for 33 years, Virendra worked with and got guidance from several Indian theater legends like Habib Tanveer, B. V. Karanth, M. K. Raina and likes. With over 400 shows of 40 different plays in his repertoire, Virendra also worked in some films and television serials. His embodiment of ruthless Patwari in Kalichaat gave life to this menacing character.