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IFFI 2021: 21st Tiffin depicts all women who have lost their identity, says filmmaker Vijaygiri Bava

The feature film, starring Niilam Panchal, is the only Gujarati film selected for the Indian Panorama.

Sonal Pandya

The Gujarati film 21mu Tiffin (Ekvismu Tiffin/21st Tiffin) was premiered yesterday at the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. The feature film, starring Niilam Panchal, is the only Gujarati film selected for the Indian Panorama.

Director Vijaygiri Bava, along with producer Twinkle Bava, writer Raam Mori, music composer Mehul Surti and cast members Niilam Panchal and Netrie Trivedi, was present for the red carpet and presentation of the film. 21mu Tiffin is based on Mori’s Sahitya Akademi award-winning book Mahotu.

Bava, who has previously made the films Premji: Rise Of A Warrior (2016) and Montu Ni Bittu (2019), spoke about the film being presented at IFFI.

“The fact that 21mu Tiffin was selected for IFFI, it’s been a matter of pride for Gujarati cinema,” he told Cinestaan.com. “As a filmmaker, it’s a big matter of pride for me as well. Firstly, to go to IFFI as a film practitioner is a dream; to attend and see national and international films. Then to go as an invitee and guest and take your own film, it’s happiness of another kind.

“And yesterday, on the red carpet, the Gujarati artistes and Gujarati cinema were respected so well,” the elated filmmaker added. “ At the screening, the response that we have got from non-Gujarati audiences, especially students from the Chennai Film Institute [is encouraging]. They were enjoying each shot and the aesthetics of the film and reacting to them. As a maker, you can’t express that feeling.”

National award-winning actress Panchal plays a protagonist without a name — a wife and mother who makes an earning sending out tiffins. When she takes up her 21st customer Dhruv (Raunaq Kamdar), after some hesitation, there comes in a change in her attitude towards life.

At the film’s press conference, Bava spoke about the creative decision: “It’s an intimate story on human emotion and relationships. We have tried to depict the lives of all women who have lost their identity in the service of others. That’s the reason we have not given any name to the protagonist.”

Vijaygiri Bava

The Gujarati-language film was filmed in record time, in synch-sound mode without any dubbing and patchwork, in eight days during the pandemic. The film will be released theatrically on 10 December.

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