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I am not here to make art films: Anurag Kashyap

By: Rohit Vats


Last Updated: January 18, 2012, 19:21 IST

I am not here to make art films: Anurag Kashyap

The Hindi film industry has more or less been star driven since its inception.

New Delhi: The Hindi film industry has more or less been star driven since its inception. The parallel film movement or so called art cinema tried to break away for the typical Bollywood films but the market remained tilted in favour of the box office friendly actors. The art of telling a different story is sustaining due to some independent films only. Can the amalgamation of Bollywood actors and independent filmmakers bring the era of good cinema?

One of the pioneers of the independent cinema in India, Anurag Kashyap says," Working with the stars is not a problem. Problem is people's identification with the stars and their image. Further they cater to a certain set of audiences. I don't want to experiment with that image. I can work with stars provided they suit the script because it will become a problem for me the moment they think about their image."

Doesn't a star kill the basic idea of making a distinct film?

Anurag says," When a big star joins any film, everybody starts to think about money. No body looks at the product and marketing becomes the ultimate thing. People forget the very beginning of the idea amidst huge expectations."

A star can also affect the original story as he would want the role to be modelled as per his market image. Kashyap explains," You can work with anyone provided the integrity of the project remains intact. There is no point in working if you are going to compromise over the DNA of the film. A star needs to come as a character. Most of the stars are in the business for the sake of money while filmmakers have different goals. It's a business of catering but some filmmakers don't want to look like a caterer. I want something challenging every time. I won't make another film as 'Dev D' even if it was a hit. Why should I make another 'Dev D'? I may not be a good businessman but I am a good filmmaker. I talk to every star and I will work with them if something materializes."

Further it's difficult to create new criteria for the independent films. "The cinema has to be good or bad. I made cinema independently because I didn't want to get affected by other issues. I strived for years for my kind of films. So, any filmmaker who doesn't want to play the market game will automatically become an independent filmmaker. Earlier, independent films were understood as art films. We are not here to make art cinema or boring cinema. The star has to fit into the plan first. Second he has to agree to the plan. Some films are vehicles ready for the stars. Directors are definitely there but the actual player is the market forces. I will not a film dictated by the market. Even if I have to make good masala film then I will make something like 'The Dark Knight' or 'Avatar' which is good as well as commercial."

Navdeep Singh, the director of critically acclaimed 'Manorama Six Feet Under', points out another problem with independent filmmaking," The biggest problem is the excess to stars. Our movies are largely star driven. Most producers want viable star cast. A big story can’t be about two people sitting in a room. As soon as you start for a real space for the story, the budget goes higher. The audience has become more sensible towards independent films in last some years but the market is still more or less dependent on stars."

The director of 'Shuttlecock Boys' Hemant Gaba shows us another angle," We will survive if Bollywood allows us to co-exist. Now PVR has started the trend of exhibiting good independent films but we need more exhibitors. We need to have good distribution strategy to get our films showcased."

He also throws some light on the business part of independent films," Everybody in the industry knows that 85% of the films don't do well at the box office. Therefore if only 10 independent films are releasing every year, hardly one or two will fetch money. I think the ratio can be better for independent films."

The spirits are certainly high for the independent filmmakers but the ultimate test remains the same, and that is generating money for a new film without any star.
first published:January 18, 2012, 19:21 IST
last updated:January 18, 2012, 19:21 IST