“Content is the core element of a film”: Swapnil Vasant Kapure

Bollywood Interview

The selection in Indian Panorama after winning the National Award increases our responsibility further, said Swapnil Kapure, the director of Bhar Dupari; he was addressing a joint press conference at the International Film Festival of India, Goa today, November 26, 2018, along with Medhpranav Powar, director of Happy Birthday. Kapure shared his belief that content is the core element of a film, while every medium has its own way of presenting content. “While TV is a close-up medium and cinema is a wide-shot medium, content is same for both. When you learn about the content, you learn about the aesthetics of the medium. Normally, television content tries to cater to the tastes and demands of viewers; however it is sometimes imposed on viewers as well. Even then, at the end of the day, it is popular support that determines television content”, said Kapure. On narrating his experience of making Happy Birthday, Medhpranav Powar said, “It is a story of a child and his father. As children, we are unaware of the sacrifices our parents make, though we harbour certain expectations from them. The movie is an attempt to explore the idea of this dynamics in the relationship between a father and child. For me, cinema is about telling stories and portraying them effectively. If you have a good story, it can be easily presented in any medium. Being a diploma film, we shot it within the range of 50 km from FTII campus, as per rules of the course. Finding a child actor for the role was a tough job. A lot of improvisation was done during the shooting.” He added that he likes to work on content which is entertaining as well as contemporary. Both directors believe that despite it being difficult for short films to get screened in theatres, they have a future in India as short films are getting popular in smaller cities as well; however, short films are yet to find a way to earn a respectable profit, the OTT platforms can be of help here. Backgrounder Bhar Dupari is Swapnil Vasant Kapure’s FTII diploma film; it won special mention award in non-feature film section at 65th National Film Awards. It also received accolades at film festivals across the country, including at Mumbai International Film Festival. The film is “an insightful portrayal of a woman finding courage to fight her demons”. Synopsis of Bhar Dupari: Suhas and Sneha are expecting their first child after a five-year wait. Sneha is seven months pregnant. One pleasant Sunday, when they are about to leave shop for the upcoming baby shower, an unexpected incident changes their lives drastically. They not only lose their unborn child, but also get trapped in a sequence of uncontrollable events. They decide to spend some time in their village, but their problems get escalated when they meet another mother who also lost her son. Happy Birthday, a FTII TV course final fiction film directed by Medhpranav Powar has also won the award for the best film on family values at 65th National Film Awards. The film is “a meaningful exploration of a small boy’s changing attitude towards his father’s sacrifice and love.” Synopsis of Happy Birthday: Sharad, a machine operator at a workshop, works part-time as a mascot entertainer at birthday parties. One day, he gets a gig at a birthday party of his son Aakash’s friend. He manages to hide himself from Aakash, who enjoyed his act, but is noticed by a child. Next day at school, Aakash is teased for his father’s party mascot act. Aakash is shocked and feels insulted, but he eventually understands why his father does that and accepts the reality wholeheartedly.

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