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Exclusive: Utpal Kalal on his film The 14th February And Beyond’s success at IFFI


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Interviews

oi-Shreshtha Chaudhury

|

Doctor-turned-filmmaker
Utpal
Kalal
is
currently
riding
high
on
the
success
of
his
documentary
feature
film

The
14th
February
&
Beyond,

which
was
officially
selected
for
the
51stt
International
Film
Festival
of
India
(IFFI)
2021
in
the
Indian
Panorama,
non-feature
category.
The
film
went
on
to
receive
a
heartening
reception
at
the
IFFI
and
is
slated
to
be
released
on
MX
Player.


The
14th
February
&
Beyond

takes
the
deepest
look
into
Valentine’s
Day
and
exposes
the
strange
face
of
this
global
love
fest
and
its
impact
on
the
mental
health
of
our
society.
The
film
further
explores
the
origin
of
this
famous
day,
and
how
it
has
become
a
victim
of
consumerism
and
commercially
twisted
into
a
competition
and
self-esteem
checklist.
The
ecstatic
filmmaker
in
an
exclusive
chat
with

FilmiBeat

spoke
about
his
experience
at
IFFI
Goa
and
the
challenges
he
faced
while
working
on
the

The
14th
February
&
Beyond
.

Utpal-Kalal-14-February-And-Beyond-IFFI

Utpal
Kalal
called
his
experience
at
IFFI
Goa
where
his
film
received
a
thunderous
response,
to
be
an
emotional
and
a
personal
one.
Talking
about
the
same,
he
revealed,
“It
was
an
amazing,
personal
and
a
very
emotional
experience
for
me.
At
the
49th
IFFI
(2018),
I
was
just
there
as
a
cinema
enthusiast
and
at
that
moment,
we
were
shooting
this
movie.
It
was
my
first
ambitious
project
as
a
filmmaker.
I
have
worked
before
on
documentaries,
commercials
and
music
videos
but
this
was
my
first
feature
film.
I
always
felt
that
it
would
be
an
honour
if
my
film
would
be
screened
here.
I
was
not
sure
if
I
would
have
been
able
to
bring
our
film
to
IFFI,
as
it
is
such
a
huge
platform.
I
had
felt
a
huge
responsibility
for
the
same.”

Utpal
continued,
“When
I
got
to
know
that
our
film
has
been
selected
for
the
51st
IFFI,
I
was
really
emotional
and
was
in
shock
for
a
while.
We
had
a
wonderful
time
and
an
amazing
experience
at
IFFI.
I
really
felt
honoured
to
see
the
respect
they
gave
to
independent
filmmakers.
We
had
the
film
selected
at
certain
international
film
festivals
but
due
to
COVID-19,
we
couldn’t
go
anywhere.
Since
IFFI
was
our
first
physical
screening,
we
had
a
wonderful
time
there.
Our
film
was
also
‘houseful’.
We
had
questions
on
our
minds
if
people
would
watch
our
documentary,
but
people
loved
it,
and
the
reaction
was
emotional
for
me.
My
team
and
cast
were
with
me,
so
this
moment
will
be
memorable
in
my
life.”

x16039166105191 1611503832.jpg.pagespeed.ic.cMDsJv7vYAAlso
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51st
IFFI

Furthermore,
Utpal
Kalal
opened
up
about
the
challenges
he
faced
while
working
on

The
14th
February
&
Beyond
.
The
filmmaker
revealed
how
he
had
to
perform
extensive
research
for
the
same,
as
Valentine’s
Day
has
a
preconceived
notion
amongst
the
masses.
He
revealed,
“It
was
very
challenging.
It
is
a
very
sensitive
topic.
I
had
to
go
deep
in
research
for
it,
as
it’s
against
the
popular
notion
of
the
day.
In
India,
there
is
opposition
towards
Valentine’s
Day,
which
sometimes
brings
in
violence,
as
some
people
think
it’s
against
our
culture.
We
also
wanted
to
cover
this
day
globally.
There
has
not
been
formal
research
on
this
subject,
so
that
was
a
challenge.
I
had
to
start
from
point
A
with
my
research
and
it
took
me
two
years
for
doing
so.
There
were
a
few
people
who
wanted
to
support
this
film.
My
colleagues
showed
some
support
and
we
were
looking
for
more
people
to
support
this
film,
even
when
it
came
to
the
finances.:

He
added,
“We
didn’t
get
much
support
initially,
as
people
were
not
confident
about
how
the
film
will
turn
out.
People
had
questions
on
whether
the
film
is
against
Valentine’s
Day,
as
there
was
no
prior
research
on
this
subject.
It
was
a
huge
responsibility,
as
I
wanted
to
make
a
feature
film
documentary
of
almost
one
hour.
We
were
also
worried
about
how
the
film
festivals
would
react
to
this
subject.
No
studio
funded
it.
It
was
an
independent
documentary.
We
just
wanted
to
stay
true
to
the
subject
and
bring
out
this
film.
It
was
very
challenging
and
filled
with
a
lot
of
responsibility.”

xwhatsappimage2021 01 23at4 38 57pm 1611400958.jpeg.pagespeed.ic.bd13Also
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Disciple
And
Court

Utpal
Kalal
also
revealed
that
he
was
initially
nervous
about
how
his
film
will
be
perceived
by
the
audience.
The
director
added,
“Yes,
I
was
very
nervous
about
it.
We
knew
the
popular
opinion
about
Valentine’s
Day

either
that
it’s
celebrating
love
or
that
it
is
against
our
culture.
But
I
wanted
to
investigate
this
day
in
that
aspect
which
we
had
found
in
our
research.
I
was
confident
about
the
research
because
I
was
shocked
by
its
findings.
With
every
unfolding
day,
I
had
an
intuition
that
this
story
needed
to
come
out.
I
just
wanted
to
believe
in
the
subject
and
the
research.
The
nervousness
slowly
turned
into
confidence.
But
the
nervousness
was
still
there

whether
we
will
be
able
to
do
justice
to
the
subject.
But
when
the
film
started
getting
selected
to
international
film
festivals
and
we
also
got
a
letter
from
Cleveland
Film
festival
praising
the
subject,
these
factors
made
me
confident
and
gave
me
hope
that
the
story
will
resonate
with
people.”

Talking
about
the
film

The
14th
February
&
Beyond
,
it
has
travelled
to
eight
countries
and
getting
10
festival
official
selections,
along
with
two
best
film
wins
at
prestigious
film
festivals
around
the
world.
The
movie
reveals
shocking
facts
about
the
commercialisation
of
Valentine’s
Day
along
with
the
spending
and
traditions
that
have
been
overlooked
until
now.
The
movie
also
features
appearances
of
eminent
intellectuals
like
Dr
Sudhir
Bhave
(Professor,
Department
of
Psychiatry,
NKP
Salve
Institute
of
Medical
Sciences,
Nagpur),
Nityananda
Misra
(Finance
Professional
&
Author),
Namita
Singh
(Activist,
Software
Engineer,
MathWorks,
Boston,
USA)
and
Shilpa
Agrawal
(Psychologist)
and
Rajiv
Malhotra
(Indian
American
Author).



Learn More

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