Bollywood has given a number of fine art films. In the year 1976, the famous director Shyam Benegal had directed a film, Manthan, inspired by the pioneering milk cooperative movement of Verghese Kurien (‘Father of the White Revolution’ in India). It is set amidst the backdrop of the White Revolution of India.
The film starred actors Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Amrish Puri, Girish Karnad among others. You will get surprised to know that Manthan (1976) by Shyam Benegal was technically produced by 5,00,000 farmers of Gujarat. Yes, you read it right! It was produced by the farmers. This movie was funded by the largest number of individuals ever!
The film showed the power of “collective might” as it was entirely crowdfunded by 500,000 farmers who donated Rs. 2 each. This film achieved a great measurable success. The film won a number of awards including National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and National Film Award for Best Screenplay and was also India’s submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for 1976.
The plot of the story was based around rural empowerment. During the release of the film, truckloads of farmers came to see “their” film, thus making it a box office success.