Stop Cribbing All The Time, Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra Tells 'Airy' Independent Filmmakers


(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) With almost a smooth furious glance, he says that it is high time that independent filmmakers stop cribbing about the fact that their films do not get theatrical releases or accepted by OTT platforms anymore. Stressing that for decades everyone has given preference to big budgets and well-known stars, National Award-winning filmmaker Sudhir Mishra asserts that like life, filmmaking is also about negotiating spaces perpetually.

"It costs a lot of money to make films and release them. Anyways, these so-called independent filmmakers are too airy. But the moment Karan Johar invites them for lunch, everybody will stand in a queue. Boss, it is a practical industry, and learn to live with that fact. Like life, there are no perfect situations or ideals around here.

"A poet also has to feed his children, and he realises that and works towards it. Stop cribbing all the time -- I am so intelligent, such a nice guy, still my films don't get distributed. The world owes you nothing,” laments Mishra.

"These independent guys need to realise that they are against the big boys. It is not easy to fight them. Sure, some crumbs may be thrown once in a while. After three outings at Cannes, filmmaker Murli Nair had to stop making films. Where is he now? It is a tough world out there," says the filmmaker best known for his films like 'Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi', 'Dharavi', 'Chameli', 'Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin' and 'Khoya Khoya Chand.

Making his directorial debut with the film, 'Yeh Woh Manzil To Nahin' in 1987 which won him a National Film Award, Mishra, talking about his cult classic 'Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi', says he did not have to do any research while writing the film as he had grown up in the time when naxalism was at its peak and knew many of them.

"I come from Lucknow and to a large extent my world-view is Ghalib. Naxalism was in the air and I was very influenced by playwright Badal Sircar with whom I visited every area of Bengal where people were influenced by that ideology. Besides, I come from a Nehruvian family, and we were close to the Congress. I bet I know more about the Congress of that time than any journalist even. I have seen the emergence of fixers, observed machinations up close, and student politics of that era."

Mishra says he is the 'Geeta' (female lead) in the film. "Because I am neither a Naxalite nor a fixer. Like her, I am the centre, and I have touched my feminine side often. Yes, I knew many Geetas.."

All his films have a strong socio-political base, something which he says comes naturally to him.

"It is extremely important that my cinema is socio-political because that is my being. I do not have to 'try' to do that. That is how I think, that is who I am. A person comes before the filmmaker. Education, background, influences and ideological factors shape him. While making a movie certain aspects of the maker seep in naturally while others make a quiet exit," he says.

Upbeat about several new OTT platforms entering the digital space, he says the more the merrier. "Everything may not be perfect about them. But that holds for everything in life, no?" says the filmmaker who was at the recently concluded CineVesture International Film Festival (CIFF) held in Chandigarh.

Mishra, who is currently working on his next titled 'Summer of 77' which is about the Emergency and mainstream people bubbling with a certain kind of radicalism and confronting the state, asserts, "No one is a fixer or a Naxalite in this movie. It is about a more mainstream rebellion. There are multiple layers to the film," he concludes.

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