Film on Kanpur`s power crisis awes viewers at MFF

Mumbai: Indie documentary `Katiyabaaz`, about Kanpur`s battle for electricity, gave the Mumbai Film Festival audiences a slice of modern-day life in the city now plagued by the worst power crisis. The movie not just entertained, but also left viewers inspired.

Directed by Deepti Kakkar and Farhad Mustafa, `Katiyabaaz` played to a houseful screen of 293 seats in Metro cinema Monday.

A satirical yet inspiring take on the electricity scenario in Kanpur, `Katiyabaaz` impressed audiences with its documentary style narrative laced with a quirky presentation.

The film highlights the lack of electricity in Kanpur, where its residents spend most of their time stealing power since they can`t afford it.

"It`s very rare to see such a wonderful documentary on a burning issue. It`s an eye-opener and reminds us of the country we live in and how it`s divided on the basis of power, politics and poverty. It was equally hilarious and that kept me engaged throughout," Ravi Mishra, who commended the effort of the filmmakers, said.

Featuring a cast of real life actors, the film was spearheaded by its protagonist Loha Singh, who steals power for a living.

"I think he (Loha Singh) was simply brilliant. I think he was apt for the role because he tried to be as natural as he could be and that precisely worked in his favour," added Ravi.

"Katiyabaaz" doesn`t merely highlight the power issue in Kanpur, but intelligently focuses on the battle between the government and the underprivileged people.

Festival patron Reema Khanna said it`s one of the best documentaries she has watched in a long while.

"It`s a daring documentary and I have not come across anything like it in the recent past. I think the use of occasional humour helped to overlook the controversial content of the film," Reema said.

The directors, who received a standing ovation, later answered questions posed by the audiences following the movie`s screening.

Answering one of the questions about the challenges associated with the film, Deepti said: "For every independent filmmaker, funding is the biggest problem. I remember most of our crew survived on only biscuits and glucose for most days of the film`s shoot."

"Even though we struggled to find funds, we somehow managed to find funders from nine countries except India. It saddens us that it`s an Indian film, but we couldn`t get any fund from India? I hope all that changes soon," added Deepti.

At the ongoing Mumbai Film Festival, `Katiyabaaz` is one of the films in India Gold competition section. The film has already been screened in over 20 film festivals across the globe.

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