Class 12 students Hari and Deepa record a sex video in an empty classroom after school. But when the video is leaked online, all hell breaks loose and the lives of both young people and their families become toxically entangled. Parents are summoned and college authorities intrusively intervene. Soon, the incident is blown out of proportions and turns into a soul-sucking mess involving court hearings and police investigations. Aside from the anecdotal and opportune nature of the narrative, Seventeeners (Hadinelentu) also addresses the deep-seated gender, caste and class divide that permeates Indian society. Being from a poor Dalit working-class family, opposite of Hari’s privileged Brahmin lineage, Deepa stands to lose much more from the court proceedings than he does — namely her entire future. Then, there is the issue of gender, as her exchange value now comes into question, her mother being obsessed with the idea that Hari’s family might not allow her daughter to marry their son. All the while, the authorities’ supposed impartiality crumbles under the weight of systematic sexism. “At least he is a boy,” remarks vice-principal Seetha in a conversation with Deepa, “shouldn’t you have been more careful?”
PRITHVI KONANUR is a former software professional who entered the movie industry through an English screenplay entitled The Abiding, which was optioned for a Hollywood film directed by Rob Schmidt. This experience allowed him to enter the New York Film Academy, where he received his filmmaking degree. Since then, he has directed several acclaimed feature films, including Waves (2012), which premiered at TIFF; Railway Children (2016), recipient of a National Award, two State Awards and a nomination for the Golden Gateway Award at the Mumbai Film Festival; and Where is Pinki? (2020), winner of the Best Screenplay and Best Actress awards at OIFFA 2021. Seventeeners, his latest effort, premiered at the Busan International Film Festival and was the only Indian film to compete in the prestigious World Competition section at the Pune International Film Festival. “We have in our society a system that’s way too complex and way too dysfunctional,” the director said about the film’s portrayal of inequities during an interview with Vague Visages. “Society is unfair to both the privileged and the underprivileged. But the difference is that its impact is a lot harsher on the less fortunate. […] When you are privileged, you can deal with a difficult situation because you have a support system. When you falter, you will be lifted up.”
scr.: Prithvi Konanur, Anupama Hegde | cin.: Arjun Raja | ed.: Shivkumar Swamy | cost.: Kavitha | art dir.: Ramachandra Hosur | snd: Ravi Hiremath | mus.: Narendra Kumar J. | cast: Sherlyn Bhosale, Neeraj Matthew, Rekha Kudligi, Bhavani Prakash, Ravi Hebballi, Sudha Belawadi, Nagendra Sha | prod.: Prithvi Konanur, Thejaswi Konanur
Free parking during the screening.
$15 per ticket, plus H.S.T. ($1.95) & service fees.