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Writer-Director Sanjay Chhel on his new film Kill The Rapist? and its innovative publicity campaign

Published: December 20, 2013 4:56:56 am

While the film industry has become the favourite whipping boy of the media for showing a woman as a ‘sex object’,I have tried to make a film,Kill The Rapist?,which delves into the psyche of people who treat women as objects of sex. Debating on the issue of rape and having an intellectual discourse is very easy and fashionable. But it’s very difficult to make an issue-based feature film in India. All the more difficult when one has to work without a big star and avoid titillation.

For me,this is more than just a film. It represents the valid anger of the people of India,especially the women. The Delhi gangrape,last year,completely shook me up and my producer Siddhartha M Jain,who runs iRock Films. He made a Facebook page and we decided to convert that into a movie,hence the title.

Maybe someone might say that we have tried to cash in on the Delhi gangrape tragedy but our film is not based on that incident. It’s inspired by hundreds of incidents that I came across during my research on the subject. As a filmmaker,I thought I should use the medium of cinema to continue the debate in the public domain,while at the same time send a strong message to people at large. Rape is a very heinous,inhuman crime against a woman and it’s time that criminals fear the law.

I have no illusion of changing society or questioning the legal system by making a 95-minute film,but after watching this film,even if one person starts thinking before committing rape,then it’s worth the effort.

Kill the Rapist? is about three girls,a rapist,his brutality,his mind games,the social pressure on the girls,indifference of the police and the lethargic legal system surrounding rape

in India.

Just like the people of Delhi have shown,we decided to engage the audience to decide the climax of the film. Lots of people want a rapist to be tortured and killed,but there are a few who feel that it’s against their human rights. A rape by a juvenile is also heavily debated. So the best way to decide in a democracy is to allow the audience to vote for the end by looking at the film trailer. For the first time,a film trailer has been released months before the film to decide the climax,based on audience votes. The audience can vote by giving a missed call on the specified numbers or vote online via Facebook and our website.

We feel that the audience is ready for interesting,high-concept films,which not only give strong messages but can engage them using innovative methods. It’s important to market and make interesting films,else the message cannot be delivered. I believe it’s the best way of celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema.

Sanjay Chhel has written Rangeela,Yes Boss,Phir Bhi Dil hai Hindustani,Halo,Kachche Dhage,Partmer,Dil toh Bachcha hai ji. He has directed Khoobsurat,Kya Dil Ne Kaha,Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam

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