Ever since Rohit Khaitan visited Prague for a shoot in 2011,it haunted him,plagued him and at times mesmerised him. Here was a city,says the young filmmaker and producer,that was home to Kafka and Mozart,and at the bitter receiving end of horrific invasions and bloody history. One can feel the tension,depression and superstition in the air, says Khaitan,who was drawn to the duality of this Czech city and knew that whenever he made a film,it had to be set in Prague.
Now,his debut,Prague,is being showcased as part of the world premiere films at the ongoing 12th Osians-Cinefan film festival being held at Siri Fort. While the screening will take place on August 1,Khaitan is already in a festive mood. His film has got a positive response from the international film community,including the Cannes Film Festival and Hong Kong Filmart in 2012,where he was promoting it. Independent cinema space is opening up,small movies are doing big business,and there is a lot of cross-pollination in movies in terms of cultures and production, says Khaitan.
One of the first films to have an Indian-Swiss production,Prague,a psychological thriller,has a contemporary subject it deals with the insecurities and confusions the youth faces today,especially when it comes to love and relationships. The story revolves around a Czech gypsy girl in search of her identity and love. There are three friends who are in search of peace,freedom and love. The psychological thriller-horror zone has hardly been touched in Indian cinema and we wanted to do that with Prague, says Khaitan,who has conceptualised,co-written and co-produced the film. Directed by Ashish R Shukla,the film stars Chandan Roy Sanyal (from Kaminey),Elena Kazan (Agent Vinod),Arfi Lamba (Slumdog Millionaire) and Mayank Kumar. Music has been composed by newcomer Atif Afzal.
A Delhi lad,28-year-old Khaitan credits the hours put in while working for Anurag Kashyap on No Smoking and as executive producer on Dev D. It strengthened my base. I was vice-president of the student union at Hansraj College and was planning to get into event management or open an export house, says Khaitan,who would connect with college alumni like Shah Rukh Khan for events. Now,he is readying to release Prague in tier one and tier two cities and will also take it to Eastern Europe. Post that,he moves to his next project a tale of a French cyclist who disappeared in India in 2007.