After years struggle, Garhwali cinema finally saw light at the end of the tunnel when the first Garhwali Feature Film “JAGWAL” (Wait) produced by Parashar Gaur was released on May 4th, 1983 at Mavalankar Hall In Delhi.
Jagwal is a brain child of Mr. Parashar Gaur who has spent a sizeable chunk of his life in promoting Garhwali culture. Even though he conceived the idea of making a film in 1975, it was not till 1982 that the project took off. During this period, Mr. Gaur went through a hell of a time. He was being taunted by his colleagues and friends in sarcastic ways. He had been targeted and humiliated in day to day life. He has been cheated by his then promoters who were with him in the project. One of the promoters ran away with the heroine. He was so shocked. He decided to abandon 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 colours and released the first Garhwali film.
The film does not attempt to shock the viewers with the stark poverty of the hills. It does not raise any radical slogans. The main strength of the film lies in the way it captures the innocence of the hill people.
Jagwal is poignant tale of a young woman Indu. At her wedding the bridegroom’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 nuptial night the police arrest the bridegroom. He is tried and imprisoned for 10 years. Biru advises his wife not to wait for him, but to get married with his younger brother Sheru. But she chooses to wait. After facing hardships she finally emerges triumphant and the ‘JAGWAL’ 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 and obtain their full cooperation. The film was made in record time of 28 days and passed by the censor board in just 24 hours, the film was was first screened in a non-commercial hall at the Mavlankarn Hall in Delhi. The film attracted a large number of people from and around the neighbourhood of the capital with several travelling all the way from places as far as Saharanpur, Meerut and Modi Nagar. The response was tremendous. It appeared that the entire Garhwali population had descended on the theatre.
The Ticket price at Rs 5 were sold for 50 and a few even went for whopping 100. After “Jagwal ‘ there were more than 20 films released. Among them are Kabhi Sukh-Kabhi Dukh (produced by Bindesh Naudiyal), Ghar-Jawain ( produced by Nautiyal) Kauthik (produced by Sheel Choudhry), Undkar (Produced by Mrs Bisht), Pyaru Rumal (Dubbed from’ Kusmo Rumal ‘Nepali’), Samlaon, Phulee, Madhulee, Bantwaroo, Jeetu Bagdwal, Chakrachaal, and Chwati Bwari. In Kumauni, only one film has been released “Megha Aa” ( Produced by Jivan Bist.)