Writer, director and producer Saif Hyder Hasan has been in showbiz for a long time, having already directed two films and worked for television.
Hasan has also written three books and directed eight plays including Ek Mulakaat, Gardish Mein Taare, Dearest Bapu and Love Kasturba among others.
His latest directorial project Yes Papa is about the safety of girl child and narrates the story of a girl who was assaulted by her own father for years.
The film will be released on March 1 and its first preview will be screened at Delhi’s Foreign Correspondents Club of South Asia on February 2.
In an exclusive interview with Patriot, Hasan spoke about his latest film.
How long did it take for you to direct Yes Papa? We have heard that it was delayed…
Yes Papa unfolded over a span of five years but was was shot in just 12 days. The script was penned in 2018, weathered rejections for two years as funding proved elusive. The first schedule was successfully filmed in January, 2021, followed by the second and final one. The film faced financial constraints in post-production stage. The film got delayed because of unexpected hurdles, including a six-month delay due to censor issues. Despite threats of a ban looming, the film eventually received a certificate without any cuts.
How challenging was it to make Yes Papa?
It is true that film-making is an expensive exercise. The expenses involved are huge — equipment, crew salaries, location fees, post-production, marketing, and distribution costs can add up quickly. It is also a challenge to narrate the story of a girl child. I was fixated on child sexual abuse within families. It sheds light on a crucial yet often overlooked issue within families.
Have you screened Yes Papa? Where?
Yes Papa has already been screened for the National Human Rights Commission and Delhi Commission for Women among other organisations.
How has been the support to the film?
Celebrities like Asha Parekh, Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman, Deepti Naval, Raveena Tandon and many more have endorsed the film. In fact, noted actor Deepti Naval did not want me to direct this film. She felt that certain issues should be left untouched. But on watching the film, she loved it for the manner in which the issue was handled. I am delighted to share that Yes Papa has already got four awards at the India International Film Festival of Boston and that is my biggest achievement as a film-maker.
How do you feel working with actor and director Anant Mahadevan?
Working with Anant Mahadevan ji was a delightful experience. His easy-going nature, humour, and wisdom made the collaboration a pleasure. His portrayal of the antagonist, characterised by subtlety and cultural refinement, left a lasting impact. Anant ji has been my sounding board and anchor, providing unwavering support even in trivial moments. In fact, I loved all my actors for their excellent performances. Just to name a few — Geetika Tyagi, Nandita Puri with her debut performance was outstanding. Then Divya Seth Shah’s professionalism is shown during the complex court scene. Besides them, Tejaswini Kolhapure and Sanjeev Tyagi all played excellent roles.
Tell us about your memories of Delhi!
Delhi is not just a memory; it’s a vibrant chapter of my life that I revisit time and again. Over the years, this beautiful city has become a second home for me, and each return is a reunion with memories etched in its historical tapestry. No doubt, Delhi has rich history and culture and I cannot forget old Delhi and lovely places like Connaught Place, Lodhi Road, Qutub Minar, India Gate and Chandni Chowk, which remind me of a lot of interesting sights. I miss the lush greenery and the streets of Delhi.