The list of Indian films to be screened at 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held from November 20-28 in Goa is just announced and the opening film of the feature film section of Indian Panaroma is 'Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho' Director Vinod Kapri's 'Pihu' which is a social thriller starring only a 2 yr old girl as the lead protagonist.
Vinod Kapri's debut film 'Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho', a social-political satire was released in 2015 and now he has come up with a very interesting plot in his next 'Pihu' which is the story of a 2 yr old girl who's alone at home.
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Before it's release, the film has already rocked at many International film festivals all over the world... Palm Springs Film Festival, California, U.S. ; Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada; Fajr International Film Festival, Tehran, Iran.
The film is touted to be world's first film where a 2 yr old kid is the only single character and the lead protagonist of the film.
'Pihu' Official poster
What does a toddler do when she is left alone at home? For filmmaker Vinod Kapri that was the most intriguing thought behind the research for his second feature film. “I had read about an incident in a national daily last year about a four-year-old girl who was left alone at home due to certain circumstances. I wanted to build on that thought and see where it takes me,” Vinod told IE in an i/v post film shoot wrap in May 2015.
Director Vinod Kapri behind the scene with little Myra Vishwakarma aka 'Pihu'
The then-2 yr old super cute looking Myra is now 5 and it wasn't an easy deal to shoot with the kiddo. Vinod Kapri spent a good amount of time with the little girl to get to know her before filming 'Pihu'. He spent about 4 months with her.
Director Vinod Kapri spent 4 months with Myra before 'Pihu' shoot
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Myra hadn't acted before but her parents are close to the director which is why they agree for her to act in his next.
Film is all about how a 2 yr old reacts to the environment around her and what she experiences when she is alone. In a larger context, the story explores the problems faced by a married couple and societal compulsions about the concept of family and children. Though all this is presented through the point of view of a kid reacting to being left alone at home by her parents.
Myra as 'Pihu' in film's still
National award winning director also said in an i/v, "Without divulging too much about the film's plot, I can say that it revolves around a two-year-old girl and her experience of being alone. As far as I'm aware, it is the first such movie in the world, wherein a two-year-old is not just the star, but the only character of the film. We are hoping that apart from festivals, the film is received well by audiences when it releases." -Vinod told TOI
The film which isn't based in a particular city but was shot in Noida in about 35 days schedule and it had a small crew of just 20 people in order to keep the child comfortable. Also, Myra's parents were put up in a penthouse and they were beside her all this while.
“I have personally been with Pihu for six months. I wanted to closely study how she reacts and behaves on a normal day, so that accordingly I could insert such portions in the film. As a matter of fact we also gave her parents a professional camera to keep recording her activities for months at stretch. All that footage has turned out to be quite handy.”- Said Vinod
'Pihu' aka Myra's father on the sets with her during film shoot
Film's synopsis on one of the movie sites reads - In the early morning hours, 2 year old Pihu tries to wake her unresponsive mother. Giving up, she goes on exploring the spacious apartment still messy after last night’s birthday party.
"When we began, it seemed like filming would be next to impossible because we couldn't get the child to do exactly what we wanted in one take. But over time, with support from Myra's parents and a highly professional team, the film did get completed. All credit goes to the team, and of course, the little angel who is our star."- Vinod told TOI early this year.
'Pihu' crew shooting with 2 yr old Myra
Having worked as a journalist for 23 years, Vinod Kapri decided to take up film direction and he has also a National award in 2014 for his documentary film ‘Can't Take This Shit Anymore’. The film was based on true incidents of six women who left their husbands’ homes due to lack of toilets.
'Pihu' is the opening film at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2017 in the feature film section which is to be held between 20th November to 28th November this month in Goa.
Adorable Myra Vishwakarma in a still from 'Pihu'
'Pihu' aka Myra dubbing for the film sitting in Dad Rohit Vishwakarma's lap
'Pihu' film still
The release date for 'Pihu' is not fixed yet but we connected with Myra's father Rohit Vishwakarma and he said "If everything goes well then possibly within 2-3 months".
Indian Panorama is the section under which several Indian language films (feature/non-feature) are shown every year at the IFFI festival.
In the category of feature length films, a total of 26 films have been selected for screening including five from the mainstream cinema.
Five Mainstream films have also been selected under Indian Panorama Section -- Telugu blockbuster Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, directed by S. Rajamouli; Jolly LLB 2, Hindi, Subhash Kapoor; Ventilator - Marathi - Rajesh Mapuskar; Poorna - Hindi - Rahul Bose; and Meghnad Bodh Rahasya - Bengali - Anik Datta.
The 2016 National Award winning "Kaasav", directed by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar, has automatically found an entry in the list, as per the India Panorama 2017 Regulations, the statement said.
Most number of films are from Marathi (nine), followed by Hindi (six), including the widely acclaimed "Newton" which is also the official entry from India for the Oscars.
A separate list of non-feature length films was also announced under which 16 films will be shown, including the National Award winning "Fireflies in the Abyss" directed by Chandrasekhar Reddy.
(With inputs from IANS)