Onir, who is basking in the success of his National Award winning, crowd-funded film I AM (2010), is ready to return to his roots with a Bengali film. “Rituparno (Rituparno Ghosh, Filmmaker) and Prosenjit ( Prosenjit Chatterjee, actor) are really pushing me to do a ‘bangla’ film which is why I have been shuttling between Mumbai and Kolkata. We are in talks but nothing has been finalised yet,” confirms the filmmaker.
Best Hindi Film award went to I Am, directed by Onir. Amitabh Bhattacharya also won Best Lyrics award for the film.
He has started writing the script and believes it’s the right time to do a Bengali film. “I always wanted to make one, but now it will have a much wider reach. Over the last year I have been spending a lot of time in Kolkata,” Onir admits, adding that it will not be a big budget commercial film with a huge star cast.
“It won’t be different from the off-beat films I make in Mumbai. For me the starting point is the story and not stars. So, I’m going to make the film with actors who fit the part,” he asserts.
Some recent films including Sujoy Ghosh’s Vidya Balan superhit Kahaani and Vikramaditya Motwani’s Lootera (2012) have been plotted against the backdrop Kolkata. There’s also Anurag Basu’s Barfi (2012) that was shot in the state like the other two.
“That’s natural, Sujoy and Anurag are both Bengalis so it’s natural that there would be a touch of Bengal in their films. Vikramaditya is not a Bengali but he has also been sailing down the Hoogly with his actor (Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha),” he smiles, adding that it’s not as if some great transition is taking place. “It’s just that we’ve exhausted Mumbai and Delhi as settings for our films. Kolkata in comparison is still fresh. But if out of 600 films, four are being shot in Bengal, it’s hardly a trend. I am not jumping on to any bandwagon, this is a project from the heart.”