Point to ponder

As “Pihu” makes the cut for Palm Springs International Film Festival, Vinod Kapri says every child deserves a parent but not every parent deserves a child

January 06, 2017 09:06 pm | Updated 09:06 pm IST

A scene from “Pihu”

A scene from “Pihu”

This year two Indian films have been selected for the prestigious Palm Springs International Film Festival and National Award-winning film-maker Vinod Kapri's Pihu is one of them. Inspired by a real life incident, Pihu is a story about a two-year-old child who finds herself alone at home. Pihu, the protagonist, and only character in the film encounters various circumstances without anyone being around her at home. This feature length production throws light on the problems faced by modern day families, especially couples due to societal compulsions and misplaced ambitions. Vinod has attempted to present the story from a child's perspective who is not acquainted with the world, is innocent and cannot decide anything for herself.

As a journalist with 24 years of experience, Vinod shares how laborious it was to make a film especially with such a small child to whom script cannot be dictated. “Usually for films it is a ten to twelve hour shift per day but Pihu used to come for two to three hours. She was like a superstar for us, who was put in different situations so that we could capture her reactions and make the most out of it.” About the inception of the plot, he said for the past couple of years news about small children being neglected and left alone by their parents have emerged and it had affected him. “Every child deserves a parent but not every parent deserve a child. Ultimately the child is the sufferer of the carelessness, negligence and ego of the adults”.

Vinod’s journey from a journalist to film-maker has been very interesting. Surprisingly, it is Rajkumar Hirani's unexpected call on one Sunday morning that inspired him into filmmaking. “Hirani sir is like a mentor for me and has supported my work, written about it and has given interviews for it.

As a human being and a filmmaker I really admire him.” Vinod's first film was Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho was a dark satire set in rural India. He is influenced by Iranian film makers like Majid Majidi, Jafar Panahi and Abbas Kiarostami. He finds Iranian cinema really impressive.

Talking about the challenges in making independent cinema, Vinod says, “The tough part is marketing, pushing the film for festivals, finding a distributor and getting the satellite rights.”

His efforts have paid off as satellite rights for both of his films have been sold. He believes that enthusiasm to follow ones dreams should never fade away.

“One should try to retain the soul of a film and should not turn it into a product.”

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