In the badlands of Delhi's underbelly, Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood, plots a desperate bid to escape the 'family' business. His schemes are thwarted by his unruly brothers, who marry him off against his will. But Titli finds an unlikely ally in his new wife, Neelu, who nurtures her own frustrated dreams. They form a strange, mutually exploitative pact to break the stranglehold of their family roots. But is escape the same as freedom?
Titli is the youngest of the three brothers who hopes to run away from the oppression of his eldest brother Vikram and his family. His dream is cut short when his money is stolen and he’s married off to Neelu in an attempt to bind him to his familial duties. This makes him even more desperate to escape, no matter what the cost may be.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, Shashank studied cinema and music in Montreal, Canada before moving to Mumbai to do a two-year acting course. Since completing it he’s been assisting Casting Director Seher Latif. Titli is his debut feature.
Neelu is a lower middle class girl with aspirations aiming much higher than the world she hails from. To her consternation, she’s married off to Titli, a family ranked socially even lower than hers in her eyes. Her secret life, bubbling just below her condescending demeanour, her horror at titli's 'family business' and her escape pact with Titli starts off an explosive chain of events, redefining relations and aspirations.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, Shivani completed her graduation from SGTB Khalsa College, Delhi University. With no prior acting experience or training, Titli is her debut feature.
Vikram, the oldest son and current oppressive patriarch is trying to keep together a crumbling family and its business. Facing a changing world, with the redefining of gender roles, he's a dinosaur fearing extinction. His armour is now a mix of extreme rage, violence and manipulative emotional outbursts. The more he tries to bind the family together the more it slips out of his fingers.
Ranvir Shorey has been acting passionately both on stage and on screen. Since 2002 he has essayed various characters in over 40 films, becoming an ever inventive and dynamic presence in Hindi mainstream and Indie cinema. He lives in Mumbai.
Baawla, the middle brother is struggling with his own sexual identity and his place in the world and the family. His response to this crisis is to become mediator who keeps the peace. By deliberately putting himself below Vikram, he knows how to steer Vikram into doing what he himself thinks is right for the family. He is the only son who can see through Daddy’s subtle power manipulations.
Hailing from Kanpur, North India, Amit left his training as a business graduate to focus on acting on stage and never looked back. In the last 20 years he has acted in various stage productions and films. He has also produced an indie feature in 2013.
Once the patriarch, now past his prime, Daddy seemingly remains relegated to the mercy of his older son, Vikram, the current patriarch of the family. However Daddy still has unspoken influence over Vikram and is subtly manipulative. Shifting loyalties, changing roles subtly, he tries to cling to the slippery ladder of his own making.
A gold medalist from Department of Indian Theatre, Punjab University, renowned Actor / Writer / Producer / Director Lalit Behl has been working in theatre, television and cinema since the past four decades. He is based in New Delhi with his actor / teacher / writer wife, Navnindra Behl.
I grew up in a typically patriarchal North Indian family, fighting the dominant presence of my father and the apparent tyranny of him forcing everything down my throat. I rebelled and tried to get out. Run away whenever possible… sometimes even getting close.
The disappointments of aborted attempts aside, each time the desire got stronger. Until eventually, I managed to get to film school, where I decided to construct my own world from scratch. Deleting everything that I hated about my family and their way of life. I made my own rules. Swore to live by them. And setup the utopia. Intent on making things happen my way. The perfect way! However, slowly realization set in that the obsession to get rid of oppression had become so that I had almost imbibed it within myself completely. I was slowly, almost invisibly, becoming what I had hated. In totally different, yet scarily similar ways, I had started behaving like an oppressor towards people who were close to me in my life.
That is what Titli is about. That family is who you are. That roots cannot be dug out. That freedom is not escape. And what the protagonist does when he sets face with this realization. Because I would like to believe that there is a way back, however treacherous, towards home and true ʻfreedomʼ.
After dabbling in radio, copywriting, acting and theatre, Kanu Behl studied at the Satyajit Ray Film and TV Institute, Kolkata, majoring in Film Direction. His first documentary landed in competition at Cinema du Reel. Next, he directed and produced three more docs for NHK Japan, ZDF and ARTE.
In 2010, he co wrote LSD (Love, Sex & Betrayal) with Dibakar Banerjee. The film brought him recognition as a voice of note.
An Actor Prepares (Doc / 2006 / 23 mins / Produced by SRFTI, India)
Found Him Yet? (Doc / 2007 / 58 mins / Produced by NHK Japan)
Three Blind Men (Doc / 2008 / 7 mins / Produced by STEPS International)
Over Thresholds (Doc / 2009 / 26 mins / Produced by NHK Japan)
LSD (Love, Sex & Betrayal) (Fiction / 2010 / 120 mins / Produced by Alt Ent.)
As a producer Iʼm interested in giving birth to a film thatʼs difficult to give birth to, because itʼs the difficult child that does something which history remembers.
Itʼs very tough to survive in the commercial or semi-commercial context in the Indian film industry by making films that are dissenting in nature. But thatʼs what I want to do - to make films that rebel, which shake up, provoke and turn a very hard light into the dark spaces of our society. Titli meets that criterion quite well. Titli has raw & searing honesty - something deeply truthful that caught me instantly.
Many first time filmmakers on their 1st film want to tickle the audienceʼs balls, they do something and get by. Kanu decided not to get by. He decided that heʼd rather have this obscure film seen by 3 people, rather than try and be many things to many people. That militancy of sticking to his demons is what has made this one of the most fascinating debut films of Indian cinema in a long-long time.
I am interested in Indian cinema being recognized as Indian cinema as away and separate from Bollywood, which is just a sub-genre. To have a sub-genre take away the entity of an entire society is extremely damaging. While Bollywood is essential - A film like this wouldnʼt have been produced if India did not have a thriving commercially successful industry, which many countries have lost because of the onslaught of Hollywood. The flip side is, as an art form, we have become quite damaged. My dream is to create Indian cinema, which is away from Bollywood, and yet it is truly Indian.
As we go away and make this big thing of independent cinema in India, sometimes we fall into a trap of trying to pander to the western audience, and try and do some monkey tricks to get noticed. Titli is a film which is completely devoid of such monkey tricks. Titli is a film that comes from its own reason to be.
Titli is made to shock the Indian audience into waking up and showing what goes on amongst our lives. Itʼs made for all the world cinema audience, whoʼd love to peep into another culture and find the same ingredients of humanity. Titli is immensely rooted and at the same time it is immensely universal, as it talks about a family, and I donʼt think there is any human being on this planet who doesnʼt understand what a family is.
LSD (Love, Sex & Deception, 2010)
Bombay Talkies (Star) (2013)
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy (2015)
Khosla Ka Ghosla (The House Khosla Built, 2006)
Oye Lucky Lucky Oye (Yo Lucky!, 2008)
Yash Raj Films (YRF), India’s premier and the only privately held Studio is a 44-year-old conglomerate and a vertically integrated Studio in every sense. With offices all across India, New York, London and Dubai, YRF controls almost all its revenue streams. A number of the industry's highest grossing films have been produced and distributed under YRF, including the longest running film in Indian cinema history which is still showing in Mumbai in its 20th year “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (There Goes The Bride) and “Dhoom:3” (D:3) the highest grossing film in Indian cinema history.
The Studio recently launched an LA based production company – YRF Entertainment,
developing, financing, producing English language films for the global audiences,
including the co-production “Grace of Monaco” with Nicole Kidman which is the
opening film at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival.
More information about the Company can be found at:
Website: www.yashrajfilms.com & www.yrfentertainment.com
In a Bollywood industry which till a decade ago was largely driven by tried-and-tested song and dance formulae, simplistic mass fare and the star-cult, Dibakar Banerjee has become widely recognised as one of those who changed its course. Over eight years and five landmark films Banerjee has emerged as one of India’s most original directors —a poster boy for the so-called Indie movement, though a better formulation for his work might be personal cinema. Some of the most celebrated commercial and critical milestones of contemporary Indian cinema have DBP and Dibakar Banerjee as the force behind them.
His debut feature Khosla Ka Ghosla (The House Khosla Built, 2006) was a sleeper hit without any known stars, introducing new talent that soon became industry staples redefining the genre of independent cinema in India and creating a new trend with many followers and imitators. His next Oye Lucky Lucky Oye (Yo Lucky!, 2008) remains till date the most celebrated savage- indictment of the same modern Indian middle class that was idealised in the first film. Love Sex Aur Dhokha (Love Sex & Deception, 2010), a triptych of three stories that are connected flowing back and forth of time, was the first commercially successful, breakthrough digital film in India, widely considered as seminal work in Indian cinema for challenging the rules of camera and plot structure. Shanghai (2012) was a retelling of Vasili Vasillikos’s Z, going to the novel for its roots and remains a punch-in-the-gut commentary about a country trying to emulate the First World while pretending that its poor don’t exist. It has been hailed as a film that transcends cultural and stylistic barriers and is ready for a world audience exactly as it is, and also as one of the most thought-provoking and powerful films of 2012.
A self-confessed recluse who avoids the public glare, Banerjee’s lens is known for its searing expose of the chaotic culture-scape of new India. His grasp on the essentials is acute & unsentimental. His films are clear-sighted about social hierarchies, and insightful about the hegemony of the privileged over the powerless, while in their telling, cynicism is often layered generously with humour, the humour layered with love, and so on until the circuit closes.
Continuing the tradition, Titli becomes the first film in the
“DBP Debut” series of productions that will select the most promising Indian debutante
director and bring his/her unique and fresh vision to screen, showcasing original Indian stories
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Yash Raj Films Presents
A DBP Production