Pihu director Vinod Kapri: Bollywood gradually accepting my ideas
Ahead of Pihu screening at IFFI's Indian Panorama, director Vinod Kapri on his journey from journalism to filmmaking
Even as journalist-turned-filmmaker Vinod Kapri awaits the screening of his film, Pihu, which opens the International Film Festival of India's Indian Panorama section, he has kicked-off work on his next. "I am collaborating with a leading production house for a commercial film called Frock," he tells mid-day, as he chronicles his transition from creating documentaries to feature outing.
Still from Pihu
The success of Akshay Kumar-starrer Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, three years after his National Award-winning documentary Can't Take This Shit Anymore, dabbled with the same subject of open defecation, made him realise that he needed to "think big". "I had done research on Paan Singh Tomar for a documentary, but it did not work out. Seven years later, when Tigmanshu Dhulia's Paan Singh Tomar (2012) released, I realised that the industry is accepting my ideas."
Frock, says Kapri, like all his past releases, is also inspired by true events. The "strange" society, he suggests, offers enough fodder for filmmakers to put down their creative hats. "Why should we waste time in creating fantasies when our world is so scary? All my films are a reflection of society." Pihu, which revolves around a two-year-old, is also inspired by a real-life story. Creating the film, Kapri says, was no mean feat. The narrative rests entirely on the toddler who is the sole actor in the 100-minute-long outing. It puts the spotlight on the problems faced by a married couple and presents it from the point of view of the girl.
"The film chronicles a 12-hour time period in the life of the child when she's left alone at home. Given that she was only two, and cannot react to acting cues, we incorporated her daily actions. I had to ensure that her actions had the ability to strengthen my screenplay. And even though she didn't do anything in accordance with our demand, we pulled it off." The reaction to his outing as it travels across film festivals has been encouraging. "Viewers have told me they had sleepless nights. One couple said that they apologised to each other for their behaviour after catching a screening, since they realised how their personal issues affected their child."
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