Going beyond the rituals and the little joys of life, celebrations are also great healers. This is what producer Jaideep Panjabi feels.
Panjabi’s production Patang is in the Indian Competition of the 12th Osian’s Cinefan Festival, and for him, the medium of the kite is a symbol of how celebrations can heal. The film directed by Prashant Bhargava was made after researching for three years and has been eight years in the making.
Patang has been shot in Ahmedabad with 90 per cent non-actors and only Seema Biswas as the most recognisable face.
He wanted to show how people get healing through celebration by shooting the yearly Uttarayan International kite festival in Gujarat where over 10,000 colourful kites are fluttering at any time.
The film is almost like a documentary, but it has a story build around six people who are affected by the celebrations. The film shows how several relationships are cemented and misunderstandings removed in three days of celebrations. It is thus a film of hope, life and celebration.
In most cases, the characters did not know where the cameras were and this made their acting very realistic and it was difficult to tell who was professional against the newcomers, said Panjabi. In fact, the director made the artistes start dancing without telling them there were hidden cameras he added discussing anecdotes from the Patang experience.
Shot digitally in high definition, the Indo-American film had its premiere in the Berlinale and has been released in North America. Jaideep hopes to release Patang in India by the end of the year. He said the New York Times had heaped huge praise on the film which has already been to several festivals and won quite a few awards.