Kunal Kapoor on turning writer-director with Half Pant Aur Baniyan: Creating roles, not waiting for them
As he turns writer-director with short film Half Pant Aur Baniyan, Kunal Kapoor says lack of diverse parts during his 15-year acting career made him explore filmmaking
While the lockdown has been tough, it has given some artistes time to pause, reflect and steer their careers in a new direction. Kunal Kapoor has utilised the period to explore his filmmaking skills. Written, directed and edited by him, the short film, Half Pant Aur Baniyan, has received a positive response. "The lockdown made me realise that we need little to survive. So, I wanted to tell a story about minimalism. I am the co-founder of the crowdfunding platform, Ketto. Many people came forward to contribute not only their money, but also their time during this period. I was moved by a 10-year-old, who started a campaign for migrant workers. She inspired me to write a story about kindness," says the actor turned director.
Writing comes naturally to Kapoor—in his early years, it was the only form of expression for the introvert. After 15 years in the industry, he took to writing with a renewed vigour when acting offers failed to satisfy him creatively. "After Rang De Basanti , I was offered similar parts. I needed to do more as an actor. Even though I am happy with my recent films, Veeram  and Noblemen , the kind of movies that I look for are few and far between. Since I wasn't getting the roles that appealed to me, I decided to create them instead of sitting back and waiting for them. I know my capabilities as a writer and actor. The scripts that I am developing now will help me step out of the box."
In the past few months, he has developed three scripts, including a coming-of-age film and a thriller. "The third is a comedic social drama set in Punjab. It's a world I understand well, and had explored with co-writer-director Sameer Sharma in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana . Acting is my primary calling, but I want to dabble in storytelling. I have conceptualised two other short films that I plan to direct."
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