Indie Filmmaker Aditya Kriplani Excels In Portraying Humanitarianism Through His Art

Author and Indie filmmaker Aditya Kripalani made his debut as a filmmaker with an adaptation of his own book “Tikli And Laxmi Bomb”. The film was trending on Netflix for over 2 years and had received a number of Indian and International awards. He soon moved on to making his second film “Tottaa Pataaka Item Maal” again based on gender equality. He then moved on to making his 3rd and the 4th film based on mental health issues namely “Devi aur Hero” and “Not Today”. As independent filmmakers, Aditya and his producer wife Sweta Kripalani have been churning out movies every year. And movies which have a message for society.

‘Not Today’ is about a 24-year-old girl from a very traditional Muslim family in Mumbai, who goes to work secretly as a suicide prevention counsellor. On her first day, she encounters a 52-year-old man, standing atop a high-rise wanting to jump. In trying to bring him down, she is forced to confront why she became a Suicide Prevention Counsellor in the first place, and also share a lot of herself to get him to share and open up.

According to Aditya, “During the pandemic, in 2020, India lost 1,53,000 people to suicide. We still, in 2022, don’t have the figures for 2021 because they’re so scary that the Government isn’t releasing them. That’s how many people we lose to suicide. And we still don’t have enough suicide prevention centres. They function with an abject lack of funds always. I’d always wanted to write about suicide prevention Counsellors and how it affects them personally. This is why I felt the urgent need to make this film. Also, the Bohri Muslim community has been underrepresented in cinema. It’s a beautiful community that is always helpful and has a deeply ingrained community spirit.”

“We kept the film warm visually so that one isn’t distanced from the subject at all. Warmth was a very conscious feeling we wanted the film to exude in the way the characters were written and the way the film looks and sounds. We chose to have no background music or score at all and just the sounds of the city. We chose to eliminate all flashbacks and visual spaces that took us away even momentarily from the two people talking to each other. ‘Not Today’ for me, as a writer and director, is my most important work,” he adds. ‘Not today’ is based on suicide prevention stars Harsh Chhaya and Rucha Inamdar.

Aditya Kripalani has won not just one but two of the biggest awards at the recently concluded Bangalore International Film Festival. He first won the Best Film at the Asian Cinema Competition. The film competed against some films from all over Asia. Secondly, he won the prestigious Fipresci (International Federation of Film Critics) International Critics Awards too. “The FIPRESCI was a big big deal for me. As an indie filmmaker, you have no lobbying power. Also, the films running in the competition were beautiful films. I’d myself seen many of them, and loved many of them. Some of them carried a rich cultural heritage. And their budgets were also much much larger. Also, we’d already won Best Asian Film on that day earlier in the evening. So the FIPRESCI was most unexpected. I called my wife and cried and cried on the video call. Not unlike moments from the film itself. Then I called a fellow filmmaker, Rohit Mittal, and cried on the call. I’ll never forget what I felt that night. It was like Ishant Awasthi from ‘Taare Zameen Par’ winning first prize for his painting. I shivered and cried for a really long time,” he reveals.

The FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) was previously won by Indian films such as Neeraj Ghaywan’s ‘Masaan’, Chaitanya Tamhane’s ‘The Disciple’ and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s ‘Sexy Durga’. Very few Indians have won this.

Currently, Aditya is working on a love story set on a train between one couple that’s 17-18 years old and another that’s in their mid 30’s. Another film that’s an acting class across two countries where an actor teaches a banker to act as they walk around their respective cities. It’s called Impulse. The acting film is set between Mumbai and Frankfurt and will be a lot of fun to pull off visually as we see the cold grey calmness of Germany vis-a-vis the warm hustle and bustle of Mumbai.

This article was shared with Prittle Prattle News as a Press Release.
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