Kathakaar, Piyush Mishra

Kathakaar, a film made by our students and alumni revolves around Prakash, an old theatre projectionist is fired from his job and has to come back to his village. Struggling with what to do with his life, he one day narrates a story for a crying kid. Slowly he becomes the favourite story teller in the village and rediscovers his passion.

Till date, the film has been officially selected and have 13 festival wins. A few awards that the film has received are,

  • Best International Short Film- 5th Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, 2015
  • Best Short Film (JURY) – 5th Washington D.C. South Asian Film Festival, Washington D.C., 2016
  • Competitor Award- II International Motivational Film Festival BRIDGE of ARTS, Rostov-on-Don, Russia, 2016

We had a chat with the lead actor, Piyush Mishra on and about the film, Kathakaar. Here’s what he has to say!

Q1: What made you to accept and act in the film Kathakaar?

Ans: It is no rocket science, my 36 years of experience helped me to identify the worth of the character and I went ahead and accepted the role, purely out of my gut feeling. Also, as it is a student film, I gauged that there would be something special about this film and in the character journey.

However, I was apprehensive about only one thing – how will such an intense journey be portrayed in the film in such a little time?, but looking the way the film has come out, I am very happy to be a part of this film.

Q2: What aspect of the film ‘Kathakaar’ appealed to you the most? Also, tell us something about the character you have played in the film.

Ans: Narration has been a part of our story-telling tradition since times immemorial. Based on the story-telling narrative, the form of ‘Cinema’ evolved. Cinema, since ages and across boundaries, have borrowed its format from the art of story-telling combined with technological innovation. Films like, Roman Holiday, Bridge on the River Kwai are among my favourites for their story-telling narrative.

Scripts written by Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith brought in the aspect of story-telling through shot-breakdown.

In the recent years, technical and technological innovation in cinema have altered the process of story-telling.

In the film, Kathaakar, the character that I have played learns the art of story-telling from Cinema and he is passionate story-teller, and thus, finds way to continue to tell stories in his own way even after he is out of the job. This topic is of personal interest to me and because the character is a story-teller it got my attention. Hence it was an easy choice for me to accept the role. Also, to help the character grow, quotes from old films helped me a lot and fell in line with my thoughts of bringing these quotes forward to the public again. I have used quotes from the film Sholay, Anand, Mr. India. These lines as originally written by acclaimed writers, were not written just for the sake of it; rather, these lines help us to gauge the socio-political condition prevalent in that era in the country.

However, while agreeing to play this character I had no clue that this film will be so successful and gain accolades from across the world.

Q3: What is your take on WWI and the training that it imparts? How was your experience working with WWI students? How trained or professional are they according to you? 

Ans: I have known Mr. Subhash Ghai for many years now, and he has set up this institute with a purpose to give students the best of film and media education. Students won’t get disappointed after joining this institute.

The location of the institute in Mumbai, the media hub of the country, makes it easier for students to access the industry for hands-on exposure and experience of working in the industry. This is an ideal institute for students to learn about the industry.

It is very important for institutes to have an amazing campus, and Whistling Woods International campus is brilliant, with a huge campus, open spaces, where students can spend time at ease and think of new and interesting ideas, unlike just being enclosed in a classroom.

The teachers are very helpful, they always make time to help their students. They are very interested in the progress of the students and love to see them grow. I have worked with the institute in the past as well and have seen how the teachers corporate with the students.

As Mr. Subhash Ghai is a very reputed member of the film industry, dignitaries in the film and media industry heartily accepts invitation to visit the campus and conduct lectures and masterclasses that help students to learn from professionals.

Q4: While doing it, did you expect the film to do this well at the festival circuit, that too globally?

Ans: I as an actor, give credit to the director to execute his vision. The director visualises and the rest of us just contribute.

As an actor, in my opinion, it is very important to forget about a project once it’s done and move ahead with your work.  No matter how big or small a film is, I have never carried the burden of my previous projects while working on a new one. However, It feels great to know that a student movie is being appreciated and gaining accolades in the global film circuit.

Q5: Do you think every age group will identify with the story depicted in the film, or is it for a specific genre?

Ans: Everyone can identify with any story. With technology, cinema has reached the remotest area of the country.  A story never dies.

Village life has completely vanished from our cinemas, we concentrate more on modern life, I crave to see stories based in villages, but in this movie we get to see that simple village life all over again which makes it applicable everywhere.

This is a film that anybody and everybody who loves stories, will relate to it.

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