Mumbai, Oct 22: 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, told IANS.
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.