Vivek Agnihotri of ‘The Kashmir Files’ fame came to Lucknow on Sunday not only for India’s first book launch and signing session but also to talk about his new film, ‘The Vaccine War’.
The film director also interacted with his fans, here at Universal Booksellers. Hidden in the Hazratganj bookstore, around 40 Agnihotri fans sat down to discuss his latest book, “The Book of Life: My Dance with Buddha for Success.” In the session that lasted about two hours he gave away around 50 signed copies and spoke candidly with readers and fans about his books and films. “It was incredibly frank and unfiltered, and the audience really enjoyed the interaction,” shared Gaurav Prakash of Universal Booksellers, the organizer.
This was followed by a press conference about Agnihotri’s latest project, which was launched last month. The director was accompanied by Dr. Balram Bhargava, author of the book on which the film is based. Bhargava, in his book ‘Going Viral-Making of Covaxin: The Inside Story’, documented his experiences as the then director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research. In the film, his character is played by veteran actress Nana Patekar.
In his speech, Agnihotri described the making of this film, as well as others in his repertoire as a director, as “CSR, which means cinematic social responsibility.” He said it was important to make films about important topics while those topics were still relevant: “And as a filmmaker I’ve always tried to do that. In addition to losing relevance, I also fear that if I make a film 30 years later, I may be accused of selling propaganda,” he joked. He termed the management of the Covid pandemic and the country’s collective healing process as a victory not only for the nation but also for the government.
Dr. Bhargava also emphasized the importance of recording the country’s medical victories in Bollywood, saying: “As we all know, the Indian population is fascinated by the power of movies and Bollywood, so if making a film about medical victories and scientific is a way to write it down for posterity, so be it.”