'Filmmaker is like a social critic'

DIRECTOR'S CUT

A complete film buff, he ran away from his home at the age of 20 to pursue his dreams of filmmaking. He was a beginner in tinsel town but he did not fear anything and started from scratch.

Thirty eight-year-old Vivek Budakoti started working as an assistant director for television shows like Farz, Kanyadaan, to name a few, and is now the proud director of the film Pied Piper which is taking  him to international film festivals and win accolades.

He has worked with people like Sohail Dattani, Sudhir Mishra, Rajat Mukherjee and Atul Tiwari. “I even assisted late MF Husain for Meenakshi,” says Vivek, pointing “working with these talented people expanded my creativity and calibre as
an artist.”

 “I enjoyed all these years of life working for television and film. I was footloose so I had nothing to fear in my life. Every transition was new, yet exciting for me,” says Vivek, calling it a phase “full of learning and lot of travelling”. Now, when he is in the limelight for his film which is a socio-political satire, he shares his experience of the film.

The story was in his mind for six to seven years but he couldn’t formulate it into screenplay. He says, it was the changing political scenario of the country that pushed him to make a film that could question the governance satirically. “Filmmaker is like a social critic. So, I decided to invest my money in the making of the film and began with the shooting,” says Vivek.

Seen through the prism of Bertolt Brecht, Pied Piper is a satirical folklore of a
simple laundryman, who is rumoured to have acquired his beloved donkey’s brains in a freak accident. A tale of a simple man’s tryst with his asinine conscience, the film laced with wry humour, mirrors the current socio-political
turmoil in democratic India.

 “We Indians have a great sense of humour and an ability to laugh at ourselves, otherwise how would you define the political circus which is still going on since Independence? Somehow the common man has learnt the art of amusing himself even in grave situations like we are facing now, and that gave me an impetus to make Pied Piper,” says Vivek.

What is more interesting is the title of the film. Vivek says, “I like titles that signify the crux of the story so when Rajita Sharma (producer), came up with the
title Pied Piper from German folklore we all immediately agreed as no other word could have defined the leaders and mindless followers as the title Pied Piper. We even tried looking at a Hindi synonym that could convey the gist of the story but nothing came close to the precision of Pied Piper.”

So far, the film has been screened in festivals like Berlin International Directors Lounge, Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2013, Alexandria Film Festival, Washington DC, Daring Independent Film Festival, Toronto and many more.

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