Kapri, director of Pihu, was speaking at a press conference along with Kamal Swaroop, director of Pushkar Puran. Both films opened the Indian Panorama section at the ongoing IFFI in Goa.
IFFI 2017: Such platforms boost morale of indie filmmakers like me, says Vinod Kapri
Mumbai - 22 Nov 2017 18:17 IST
Directors of the Indian Panorama opening films Vinod Kapri and Kamal Swaroop were present for a press conference on the third day of the 48th International Film Festival of India. The filmmakers spoke about the inspiration behind their films and the inclusion of their films, Pihu (Feature) and Pushkar Puran (Non- feature) as the opening films of the Indian Panorama section.
Director of the National Film Archives of India, Alpana Pant Sharma, introduced the filmmakers and the star of Pihu, 2-year-old Myra or Pihu, as she is fondly called at home. The young star fell asleep soon after the conference began, the last few days have been tiring for the little one!
Vinod Kapri took the opportunity to thank IFFI and NFDC for showcasing a small scaled film like Pihu and giving it such a huge platform. He said, “Independent filmmakers like me do not have much support so this is a huge morale booster for me”. He also said that post his film's screening at IFFI, he is very hopeful of a theatrical release in India.
Kapri also talked about his decision of focusing on a child's point-of-view in the film, which was integral to bring out the effect he wanted the film to have. He hopes people are moved by the film and think about the effects of marital discord on children and said, “I want that when couples walk out of the theatres, they should hold hands and apologize to each other for the things that they have done”.
Talking about the idea for the non-feature film Pushkar Puran, filmmaker Kamal Swaroop said that he had made several short films on Pushkar and had a long-standing relationship with the place as he has watched it transform before his eyes. A resident of Ajmer, Rajasthan, he has witnessed the Pushkar mela turn into a tourist hub, where mandirs and homes of people are now converted into guest houses to accommodate the influx of people to the small town.
Swaroop also mentioned that he had been inspired by Roberto Calasso’s Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India. The book contains stories on the fifth head of Brahma and Ashvamedha, a horse sacrifice ritual. Incorporating these myths into his film, Swaroop explores the city as it stands in the current times. “I took this reading and tried to find its echo in the Pushkar of today,” he said.
Amongst other things, Pushkar Puran features the residents of the town who participate in the mela every year. Several of the characters in the film are Swaroop's friends. He has in fact seen them grow up. The major change that the filmmaker has noticed in these characters it that they do not allow people to take pictures for free anymore, as they are now aware of their worth.
He spoke of this shift in the town as the mela, which saw an organic growth initially, but now has become a corporate sponsored event. The Pushkar Katha is a part of this commercialization as it is replayed by the government for the tourists. His film offers an exploration of the mythic and the fictional as it intermingles in the historic town of Pushkar.