Filmmaker Utpal Kalal is riding high with the heartening response to the release of his documentary film, The 14th February And Beyond. The film had released on the OTT streaming platform, MX Player two days before Valentine's Day and had gone on to garner around 1 lakh views within a span of fewer than five days. Recently, the doctor-turned-filmmaker revealed to Filmibeat about the release of his film and the tremendous response it has been garnering from the viewers.
For the unversed, The 14th February And Beyond takes the deepest look into Valentine's Day and aims towards exposing the strange face of this global love fest and its impact on the mental health of our society. Talking about the response to the documentary, Utpal Kalal revealed that the film has been creating empathy and understanding amongst the youth. He said, "After winning hearts and awards at International Film Festivals, my one hour long Valentine's day investigative documentary film The 14th February & Beyond was released on MX Player, two days before the Valentine's Day and seeing a huge audience demand, we have made it available for a limited period of time, on our production's official YouTube channel UK Pictures Entertainment too and in just less than 5 days it has crossed One Lakh views on YouTube. We are committed to ensuring as many people as possible watch this important film, so it is being made widely available in Hindi & English, free of charge. All around the world, people are watching this film, sharing in the community. We can see the film is creating empathy and understanding among youth. We have been receiving lots of comments and compliments and it makes our entire team so overwhelmed. One of the comments from a cinema-goer, Aarav Mehta, I would like to share from IMDB, writes; ''The way this film postmortems Valentine's Day, stitches the facts together and stay true to the core truth is something only a cathartically clear-eyed work of documentary art can do. And crisp edit and majestic music. Take a bow, you guys. This film deserves a sincere viewing, there's a lot in it that needs to be processed. Love, perceived to be a repository of genuineness, is an intimate component of Human Being but now it has become inextricably linked to the mass market and adopted the economic mechanism of Western society."
Utpal Kalal further added that the response to the film's release has not only instilled confidence in him but in his entire team. He added, "Seeing this sort of response to our film, definitely boosts the confidence of not just me, but my entire team that we should be making such films that can ignite conversations about the issues that are buried or against the popular notion. Earlier, the film has travelled to more than 8 countries and got 10 festival official selections along with two best film wins at several prestigious film festivals around the world and recently it was officially selected for the 51st International Film Festival of India, IFFI Goa. The film is a first-ever and deepest look into Valentine's Day that exposes the strange face of this global love fest and its impact on the mental health of our society. The film explores the origins of this famous holiday, and how it's been twisted as a result of consumerism and commercially into a competition and self-esteem checklist. While disguised as a celebration of love, spanning days of gifts and adoration in some cultures, Valentine's Day can actually often lead to some very dark memories, humiliation and rejection, and self-esteem crises for others. We reveal the shocking facts about the commercialization of Valentine's Day - the spending and traditions that have been overlooked until now; as well as bringing forth a comprehensive view of the subject through experts from various fields into this eye-opening narrative - that we all have an opinion on - no matter what."
Talking about the documentary film, The 14th February And Beyond, it was officially selected for the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2021 in the Indian Panorama, non-feature category. The acclaimed movie has travelled to eight countries and has got 10 festival official selections, along with two best film wins at prestigious film festivals around the world. The documentary features appearances of prominent 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).