Interview Hindi

IFFI 2017: Controversy was unfortunate, but there are 26 other films too, says Pihu director Vinod Kapri


In an exclusive interview with Cinestaan.com, Kapri expressed hope that the controversy will not drag attention away from other films at the festival.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Shriram Iyengar

The 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2017 has not had the greatest season. The meddling of the information & broadcasting ministry into the film line-up and the resignation of members of the Indian Panorama jury has snowballed into a huge controversy. However, there is a fear of this controversy dragging attention away from filmmakers showcasing their hard work at the festival. 

Cinestaan.com spoke to Vinod Kapri, director of Pihu, to learn more about the opening film of the Indian Panorama section, and his take on the entire controversy. 

Kapri said, "Whatever happened is very unfortunate, but there are other 26 films also. The same amount of passion, labour, and hard work is behind those films as well. People should think about those films as well."

Kapri's film has replaced Ravi Jadhav's Nude as the opening film of the Indian Panorama section by the I&B ministry without citing reasons. The chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, standing by the ministry's decision said that Nude was an 'incomplete' film since it did not have a 'censor certificate'.

Although he hasn't spoken to the other filmmakers, Kapri said he understood how they feel.

He said, "I do feel for the filmmakers and their films. You know, every film has a behind the scenes story. Every director, filmmaker faces a lot of hardships, similar to the ones I faced. I completely understand that. I have all my heart for them, but at the same time, we are only focussing on our film, Pihu, and trying to push it so that more people see it after the festival." 

Pihu's trailer was released yesterday. The film revolves around a ghastly mishap that takes place when an innocent 2-year old traps herself in a refrigerator.

The film, Kapri says, was born out of a real-life incident that took place in 2014. "This is based on a real-life incident which happened in Delhi in 2014. There was a 5-year-old boy stuck in a similar situation. Again, the situation arose because of a confusion and an ego battle between the parents. The tagline used for the film is that 'Every child deserves a parent, but every parent does not deserve a child.' If you cannot take responsibility for a child, you have no right to bring a child into the world." 

However, the director is keen to add that while the film revolves around the antics of a 2-year old child, it is not a children's film. "The film is on a kid, but it is not a children's film. It is about the familial relationship, the ego clashes which eventually ruins everything. In Pihu, we are trying to tell the story of a couple, a relationship which has a small problem and how it is going to ruin their life and the life of a child," he said.

The film went on the floors in May 2015 but ran into several roadblocks. The struggle to find a producer was key among them. Kapri admitted he was rejected by several studios as they were doubtful of a film whose main protagonist was a 2-year old child. But the director remained adamant. "Kids are innocent until they turn 3, then they begin to understand the world, and what is happening around them," he explains.

The film has now, involuntarily, become the center of a major controversy that is raging across industry lines. However, Kapri wishes to maintain attention on his film. He says, "There are many sides to the story. My only point is that it would have been better if the controversy would have been avoided." 

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