ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Script Development Fund

2023 Script Development Fund

LIST Chronicles of a Confession
Category Asian Project
Project Chronicles of a Confession
Director Prateek VATS
Country India
Director's Profile A graduate of the Film Direction course from FTII, Prateek’s work moves seamlessly between fiction as well as non-fiction films. His debut feature film Eeb Allay Ooo! (2019) supported by NFDC Film Bazaar and the PJLF Arts Fund (Paris), was showcased at film festivals across the world, including Berlinale 2020 before being theatrically released in India. The film was awarded the Best Film (Critics) at the Filmfare Awards 2021 and Best Film & Best Director at the Critics’ Choice Awards 2021. The film is available for viewing on Netflix (worldwide) and has been broadcast in the UK by Channel 4. His debut feature documentary, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings (2017), was awarded the Special Jury Award at the 65th National Film Awards of India 2018. Prateek was part of the last edition of the BAFTA Breakthrough India program. “Chronicles of a Confession” is his second feature film.
A series of blasts throw the city into panic. In the frenzied climate, a Kashmiri man shows up at a Police Station and makes a startling confession. Identifying himself as a surrendered terrorist, he claims responsibility for blasts & offers to help the investigation in exchange for money. As a Special Force piece together his story in Kashmir, the truth leaves them dumbfounded.
Instead of the dreaded terrorist he claimed to be, he is actually a poor shawl seller who had nothing to with the blasts. Crippling effects of frequent strikes and curfews in the valley had left him no means of repaying his debts. To keep up an appearance of normalcy at home, he conned people with promises of jobs in exchange for money. As his lies started catching up, the news of the blats sparked an idea - By claiming the blasts, he sought to kill two birds with one stone - get his creditors into trouble by naming them as coconspirators and get paid by the police for the information. Yes, he may be arrested; but wouldn′t life in jail be better than the misery of Kashmir anyway?
A biting comedy arising from tragic truths, the film peeks into the heart of Kashmir - where teenagers fight armed forces with stones, weddings take place in curfews, & an entire generation wears sunglasses to hide pellet gun wounds to their eyes. Through Goglu’s story, we see what ‘ordinary’ life looks like when collective trauma is ancient & unresolved.
Director's Note
This film is not about conflict. It is about how people negotiate the destabilizing absurdities of everyday life in a conflict zone. The film, in many ways, is trying to understand a fundamental question: How does life in jail become a better option than living in “Paradise on earth”. To me the most apt way of telling this story is through a lens which is off kilter ? one that leans on humor as a “gesture of resistance” to tell stories of troubled times. I seek to take forward the work put into my first film Eeb Allay Ooo! (2019) which is an absurdist political satire about a world where becoming a monkey is more liberating than staying human.