It’s being said that this is the year of the screenwriter. Does Indian film writing match up?
Something special is happening. There are so many film industries in India and I don’t know if it’s only happening in Mumbai, which has several independent filmmakers. Writers are the most important talent in a film. What they write makes a good movie. Bollywood films will never win a prize at the Cannes, but these people have a high chance of getting there.
In spite of Bollywood being such a revered film industry, where do you think they fall short?
The style of Bollywood filmmaking is critically not that international. They are in a pigeonhole. Millions of people love them, but they have to do something different. India has so many different cultures and different languages, so why not cinema?
You are making a film with Irrfan. Could you share some details?
We are working on a film, but are yet to put it together. We hope to start work on it soon. It’s on a book, but I can’t reveal much because it is too early to talk about it. I was looking forward to working with Irrfan and he really loved the idea.
Is that all you are working on currently?
There are a couple of other projects I am working on and I am trying to collect money to start those projects. But it is nice to come here and be forced to make a film.
What is the biggest challenge for people driven towards making independent films?
The challenge is to get Indians to spend money on making Indian films of international standards. It’s still difficult. Right now, if foreigners invest money in Indian films, Indians too will start investing in them and that might change the situation.