Interview Hindi

People are still very naïve when it comes to falling in love: Fenil Seta on his short film Bawraa


On day 5 of the 14th Habitat Film Festival in New Delhi, journalist and filmmaker Fenil Seta spoke about his film which was screened at the festival.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

The 14th edition of the Habitat Film Festival, currently underway in New Delhi, is screening a number of films that include features, shorts, documentaries and student films.

The short film screenings have been enthusiastically viewed by audiences who are turning up in large numbers for the shows despite the scorching heat.

Cinestaan.com caught up with journalist and filmmaker Fenil Seta, whose short film Bawraa was screened at the festival.

Fenil Seta assisted in the making of a few diploma films at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune and is a freelance journalist with Bollywoodhungama.com. In 2016, he made his first short film, Sunn Raha Hai Na, which focused on the issue of mental health. Bawraa is his second short.

Fenil Seta

Excerpts from the conversation:

Your film explores technology and the question of identity as you look at how being faceless on the internet can have certain unintended consequences. How did you think of this idea?

For me, newspaper articles are a very big source of information. So, five years ago, I read an article about catfishing, which is when people impersonate someone else on the internet. There are times when things can go wrong, as we see in this film. Something of that sort appealed to me and that’s why I wrote the story.

I wasn’t too sure if I could make this story and I had never made a film before so I worked on another film, Sunn Raha Hai Na, on mental health. The entire flow is very simple in that film as compared to Bawraa. Once that was made, I thought I could try this.

I also realized that it’s 2018, but people are still very naïve when it comes to falling in love. I don’t know what happens to people on the internet, they are so lonely that if someone gives them even a little attention, they will go to any lengths.

The theme of loneliness is explored in an interesting way as the protagonist types out what he truly feels but then erases it because social media is about projecting yourself in a certain way, which is usually very different from reality.

You want to share your thoughts, but you also don’t want to say it out loud. Sometimes people write shayari [poetry] and try to find quotes... in a way they want attention.

Your story also looks at the class divide, but I was curious why you did not show us the woman’s perspective. We get an insight into the man’s feelings but not those of the woman.

We had thought of shooting that, but the film was becoming too long. My last short film was almost an hour long and I didn’t want to repeat the same thing. Otherwise, we had written an entire scene where we show what she is thinking, but we did not shoot it.

What has been the response to the film so far and what are your plans for it?

The response has been really good. When we make a film we really don’t know if the film is good or bad, we don’t have that sense of objectivity. But the response has been good. A small number of people said they found the chats [in the film] a bit slow but others have said that’s the best part of the film! More or less, I have got a very good response, so I’m very happy.

Related topics

Habitat Film Festival